Kentucky Adds Ivan Sanchez to Coaching Staff as Assistant

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Photo Courtesy: Kentucky Athletics

Kentucky Adds Ivan Sanchez to Coaching Staff as Assistant

The University of Kentucky on Tuesday hired Ivan Sanchez as an assistant coach on Bret Lundgaard’s staff.

Sanchez arrives from his alma mater, Southern Illinois, where he spent the last six seasons as an assistant coach. He has served since 2023 as an assistant for the Mexican national team.

“I want to thank Coach Lundgaard and the University of Kentucky Athletic Department for the opportunity for my family and I to join the Wildcat swimming & diving family,” Sánchez said in a university statement. “Coach Lundgaard’s vision, leadership and commitment to the program are just a few of the values that I share with him and believe in. I am very excited to start this new chapter and help UK swimming & diving in the upcoming seasons. I am grateful to the coaches, administrators and athletes at my alma mater, Southern Illinois University because without them this opportunity would not be possible.”

The Salukis have produced the Mid-American Conference men’s swimmer of the year each of the last two seasons as well as two MAC freshmen of the year. On the women’s side, SIU has developed each of the last four Missouri Valley Conference freshmen of the year. Under Sanchez’s tutelage, 14 swimmers have won 33 individual conference titles plus 12 relay titles.

Sanchez graduated from SIU in 2006 and received a master’s degree in sports management there in 2009. In the pool, he was an MVC champion, a school record holder and qualified for three Mexican Olympic trials, including in open water. He was a volunteer assistant at SIU from 2006-09, then spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Coe College in Iowa, three as the head coach of Iowa City High School and two as the head coach of John F. Kennedy High.

Sanchez’s work with the Mexican national team included at the Central American Gams in El Salvador and the Pan American Games in Chile, both in 2023.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ivan Sanchez and his family to Lexington,” Lundgaard said. “Iván’s strength in how he connects with student-athletes will be a tremendous asset for our program’s culture and development. He has done a great job at SIU, and we are grateful for the positive influence he’ll undoubtedly make on our team.”

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