University of Hawaii Promotes Elliot Ptasnik To Head Coach

Elliot Ptasnik has been promoted to Head Coach at the University of Hawaii; Photo Courtesy: University of Hawaii

University of Hawaii Athletics Director David Matlin announced Elliot Ptasnik (Pit-as-nik) as the new men’s and women’s swimming and diving head coach.

“We are pleased to announce Elliot as the Rainbow Wahine and Warrior Head Swim Coach,” Matlin said. “Elliot and the current coaching staff have been instrumental in developing a championship culture in and out of the pool. His passion for Hawai’i is evident and we are excited to watch him continue to have a positive effect on our student-athletes as the leader of both programs.”

“I am honored and grateful to continue my coaching career at the University of Hawai’i. I would like to thank David Matlin and the entire administrative staff for having the confidence in me to lead our Rainbow Wahine and Warriors,” Ptasnik said. “Hawai’i’s academic and athletic prowess, along with rich culture and natural beauty, will continue to attract the best local, domestic and international student-athletes. In the past three years our team as seen a meteoric rise, and I truly feel we are just getting started.”

Ptasnik served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the past three seasons under former coach Dan Schemmel, who recently accepted the head post for the Stanford men’s swimming and diving program. Ptasnik has been a part of three straight Mountain Pacific Sports Federation women’s championships and one MPSF men’s championship and in 2019, UH claimed both a men’s and women’s conference title in the same season for the first time in program history.

During his tenure, UH has claimed three consecutive MPSF Female Swimmer of the Year honors (Franziska Weidner 2x, Phoebe Hines), two MPSF Male Swimmer of the Year awards (Metin Aydin 2x), 66 MPSF All-Academic Honors, and 42 UH school records. On the national scale, Ptasnik has helped produce three All-Americans (Franziska WeidnerPhoebe HinesKane Follows) and two Honorable Mention All-Americans (Metin Aydin and Olli Kokko).

Ptasnik added, “I would also like to thank Dan Schemmel and the entire Hawai’i swimming community for their support to get this team to where it is today. This team, staff, athletic department and local swimming community is ‘OHANA and showcases why Hawai’i is an extremely special place to be. Go ‘Bows!”

Previously, Ptasnik served as head coach of the Manhattan Makos swim team in New York City since the team’s official formation in 2009. The team quickly progressed through the ranks of USA Swimming, producing LSC and Zone champions and record-holders, and qualifiers for Junior National, US National and US Olympic Trials. The swim team was organically grown out of Imagine School of Swimming, a learn-to-swim program for 4,000 youths, of which Ptasnik served as Director.

Ptasnik was also Chairman of Diversity & Inclusion for Metropolitan Swimming and Imagine Swimming, which taught thousands of children from low-income families across the New York City Area how to swim.

Ptasnik swam collegiately at the University of Iowa where he graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and entrepreneurship. During his tenure at Iowa, Ptasnik was a four-year letterwinner, Academic All-Big Ten honoree and was awarded the prestigious Jim Marshall Memorial Award for his contributions to the Hawkeyes.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with University of Hawaii. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact


  1. Joe Auer

    Awesome Elliot Ptasnik!!! That’s great!

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  3. Edgar Perez


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    Well deserved, Elliot! Keep on doing your thing 👏🏽

  5. Amine Boubsis

    Congrats, Elliot Ptasnik! Well deserved. 👏🏽

  6. Charles Barry

    Hell yeah brother Elliot Ptasnik!!

  7. Donald P. Spellman

    Great 👍🏾 Choice to lead this program! Elliot was an excellent swimmer and even better coach! Proud to have helped him get his start in club coaching.