Vlad Polyakov Joining Staff of Ryan Wochomurka at Auburn

Photo Courtesy: Sarah D. Davis/theACC.com

Vlad Polyakov Joining Staff of Ryan Wochomurka at Auburn

New Auburn head coach Ryan Wochomurka, who took the reins at his alma mater after guiding the Houston women to prominence, has added University of Louisville assistant coach Vlad Polyakov to the coaching staff as Associate Head Coach. Polyakov joins Abbie Houck as the newest addition to Wochomurka’s staff. 

Polyakov, a former University of Alabama swimmer (2003-2007), amassed a large number of accolades during his swimming career. He attended three Olympic Games as a representative of Kazakhstan. Along with being a three-time Olympian, Polyakov was a five-time SEC Champion, two-time NCAA Champion and a two-time U.S. National Champion. In 2005 and 2007, Polyakov was the 200-yard breaststroke champion at the NCAA Championships.

Coincidentally, Polyakov, Houck and Wochomurka all have worked together in the past. Houck swam for Polyakov and Wochomurka during her first few years at the University of Louisville. Wochomurka was the Associate Head Coach, and Polyakov was an assistant.

In Polyakov’s first year at Louisville, the men’s team finished 11th, and the women finished 24th at the 2013 NCAA Championships. Fast forward to the 2019 NCAA Championships, and both teams cracked the top five. The men placed fifth while the women were fourth. At the 2021 NCAA championships, the Louisville men’s 200 medley relay brought home the first-ever relay national championship in program history. Nick Albeiro also brought home gold for the Cardinals in the 200 butterfly. This past year, the Cardinal men placed fifth while the women were 13th at the NCAA Championships.

 In 2021, Polyakov helped the Cards capture their first men’s ACC title in program history, with the most narrow victory in ACC history. The Cardinals edged out N.C. State by two points. The Cards finished the meet with 16 podium finishes, seven of which were gold.

Polyakov will inherit a very young and talented breaststroke group from former Auburn coach Gary Taylor. With freshman Reid Mikuta (52.72, 1:55.02) and Alejandro Flores (52.86,1:57.41) on the men’s side, and NCAA qualifier, Freshman Brynn Curtis (1:01.30, and 2:09.35) on the women’s side, the talent is there to work with. Also coming to Auburn in 2021 is Henry Bethel, who has already been 52.9 and 1:56.7 in the breaststrokes. 

When asked about his upcoming opportunity, Polyakov said: “It’ll be hard to leave Louisville, but I think Auburn provides new and exciting opportunities for my family and me.”

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Landon Alarcon