UNLV Hires Pat Ota on Permanent Basis as Head Coach

Photo Courtesy: UNLV Athletics

UNLV Hires Pat Ota on Permanent Basis as Head Coach

UNLV on Friday made it official that Pat Ota will remain on as the team’s head coach after he had been the interim since May.

Ota has been on staff with the Rebels for eight seasons. He was elevated to the interim job last month when Ben Loorz was hired away by Arizona. Ota is the sixth head coach in program history.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to continue our success here at UNLV, while having the confidence of the student-athletes and our administration to lead the Rebels into the future,” Ota said in a university statement. “I want to thank our athletics director Erick Harper and the search committee for the opportunity to convey my passion for UNLV and the Las Vegas community. I’ve learned so much from Coach Loorz over the last eight seasons, while I’ve relied on the support of my wife, Razilee, and my family. I look forward with great enthusiasm as I enter this next stage of my coaching career.”

Ota was an associate head coach and head assistant coach since coming to Vegas in 2016. Under his watch, the Rebels have won five conference titles, including four consecutive Western Athletic Conference titles on the men’s side and the 2021 Mountain West crown by the women. Ota has overseen 73 individual and relay conference championships and qualified eight individuals and three relays to the NCAA Championships. He has also helped Vuk Celic compete in the Olympics.

Ota also helped train former UNLV volunteer assistant coach Kasia Wasick, an Olympian representing Poland, and Mexican international Sofia Revilak. The program’s director of operations presented her country at the 2023 Pan American Games.

“Pat has been a part of building upon UNLV swimming & diving’s championship culture for almost a decade,” athletic director Erick Harper said. “He has a proven track record with conference championships and NCAA Championship qualifiers, and also understands the process that goes into developing great student-athletes, both in academics and in athletics. He is the right person to lead this program to continued success.”

Ota was an assistant coach form 2011-16 at Fresno State. He was the head assistant at NAIA program Fresno Pacific from 2007-11. He swam for four years at UC Santa Barbara, graduating in 2006. He was a three-time Big West champion in the Big West, qualifying for NCAAs in 2006. Ota received his master’s degree from Missouri in 2020.

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