Rick DeMont Named Head Coach of Arizona Swimming & Diving

Longtime Arizona assistant and associate head coach Rick Demont has been named the head coach of the school’s men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams, the school announced on Tuesday, removing his brief title as “interim head coach” after the resignation of Eric Hansen earlier this year.

Demont has been a part of the coaching staff at Arizona for 25 seasons, and has been the driving force for the success of Arizona’s sprint freestyle and stroke sprint groups, and also has worked heavily with their post-graduate program and the likes of Matt Grevers.

“It’s an honor to be named the head swimming and diving coach of such a prestigious program,” said DeMont. “I’ve been completely invested in Arizona swimming since I came here in 1977 to finish my college career. I want to thank Greg Byrne for giving me this opportunity. This is one of the top programs in the country and has been for a number of years and I’m looking forward to the future success I believe we can achieve.”

As a swimmer, DeMont was a former World Record holder in the 400 and 1500 freestyles individually and the 400 freestyle relay. He swam collegiately for two years at Washington and then two years at Arizona, and is a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He’s also in the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.

In addition to his collegiate experience, he was named an assistant for the South African Olympic Teams in 2000, 2004, and 2008 for his work with a number of South African Olympians who were based out of Arizona.

“We’re extremely pleased to have someone with Rick DeMont’s credentials involved in our swimming and diving program,” Byrne said. “Rick has been a dedicated Wildcat for over a quarter of a century and he’s earned the opportunity to lead our program. His resume speaks for itself and we know he’ll continue to build on the rich tradition of Arizona swimming.”

DeMont did not get the head coaching spot when Frank Busch left to take over as the USA Swimming National Team Director in the summer of 2011, but will now get his first chance as a head coach.


  1. Coach says:

    Well deserved!! Wishing Rick nothing but the best as he moves forward with his program.

    • John Dussliere says:

      And after so many tireless searches, the best solution was sitting in the room. Congrats to U of A on realizing that true leadership is in the supporting role of the Athlete.

  2. spiith20 says:

    Congrats to Rick, well deserved. An outstanding coach but an even better person. The chances of stellar AZ swimmers staying in-state just increased substantially!

  3. Joni Neidigh says:

    I could not be happier with this news. As a parent, I feel blessed that my daughter will continue under Rick’s leadership and the coaching staff as a whole. This Arizona team is cohesive and they work hard! Thrilled to be associated with it! Go Wildcats!

  4. ZonaMom says:

    This is the best news possible for our Wildcats! After all the months of uncertainty these kids have endured, they can now rest easy knowing Rocket will remain at the helm. This will only tighten the strong bonds these young men and women have with each other and their coaches.

  5. AZFan says:

    There are a lot of happy people in the Arizona Swimming and Diving program right now…both athletes and parents!! Congratulations to Rocket!!!!!

  6. So happy that Rick is the Wildcats Head Coach! Well deserved and the kids are beyond stoked! Great news!

  7. Mariusz says:

    Go Rocket!!!! Bear Down!!!!

  8. lindag says:

    This comes at a good time for the post-grad swimming program and it should build in to what it used to be now under Rocket’s leadership!

  9. CoachGB says:

    Congratulations to Rick and wishes of great success for an outstanding person. Met him first time in 75 when he was on Pan-Am team and he handled himself so well at the time as he has done since with his coaching.

  10. Bart K says:

    One of the best coaches out there and even a better person. Congrats and good luck to Rick.

  11. Very happy for you Rocket! Best of Luck!!!

  12. Congratulations! Can not wait to see the “masterpiece” this artist creates on his new blank canvas. One the best in the business, Congratulations!

  13. Tim Hill says:

    Awesome News ! Great to see Rocket man take the reins. Great coach & human being !!

  14. @JakeShell says:

    Congrats Rick, and thank you for all the great memories! BEAR DOWN!

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