Arizona Swim Coach Eric Hansen Taking Leave of Absence

by SwimSwam Staff 24

October 22nd, 2013 College, News, Pac-12

Eric Hansen, head coach of the Arizona swimming and diving program, is taking a leave of absence.

There has been no comment for the reason behind his leave of absence, only this brief statement from Director of Athletics Greg Byrne:

“Coach Eric Hansen is currently attending to personal matters that require him to be away from his coaching responsibilities. We wish Eric the best during this time.  Associate Head Coach Rick DeMont will provide leadership to the program in Eric’s absence.”

Hansen is an Arizona Wildcats alum, and he’s had great success in his second year as head coach. The men earned a fourth place finish at the NCAA Championships and five national titles,  notably Kevin Cordes’ 1:48 200 breaststroke win that stunned the Indy crowd.

SwimSwam was unable to reach Hansen for comment.

This NCAA powerhouse is in good hands under associate head coach Rick DeMont, who is in his 25th season on the Wildcat coaching staff.  DeMont is a former world record holder in the 400 meter freestyle.

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7 years ago

Except that Rick is not the 1972 400m champ .

Try Brad Cooper.

Reply to  Jg
7 years ago

Rick won the race by 1/100th and was disqualified for taking asthma medicine that contained a banned substance. The poor kid was only 16 and certainly was NOT a drug cheat.

The next summer in Belgrade at the 1st World Championships Rick beat Brad Cooper again and was the first swimmer EVER under 4:00. in the 400 LC free. He swam a 3:58 something. Brad Cooper was a great swimmer at that time, but Rick was even better.

I remember Howard Cosell just going bezerk over the ruling on ABC Television. He thought Rick DeMont got screwed royally. So did I……

Reply to  Jg
7 years ago

Actually Rick did win it in 1972 but was stripped of the medal when it was found he had mistakenly taken a banned asthma medication. The next year, at World Championships in Belgrade, he swam it in world record time – the first in history to do so in under 4 minutes.

Reply to  Jg
7 years ago

All – Mel had originally written that Rick Demont won the 400 free gold medal in 1972. Which he did, but then had taken away. Jg was simply pointing out that the original information was incomplete, and I don’t think was meant as a personal stab at anybody.

Feel free to have whatever conversation you like, but everyone should understand that context.

I have deleted all comments that have stemmed from this confusion.

Dana Abbott
7 years ago

Rick Demont DID get screwed by one of the USA Olympic team physicians, who did not bother to check to see what was contained in his asthma medication (which Demont DID list on his official USOC medical form) until AFTER the fact (the 400m race). HUGE lapse of accountability. The team physician was head of the clinic on my undergrad campus at the time, and we swimmers were outraged and embarrassed and ashamed that our school was now tainted by Dr. Riehl’s mistake. In our books, Rick was and still is the 400m free gold medalist. And he has been the common denominator in Arizona’s success. Will he get the job? Next: Getting Shirley her three ‘stolen’ 1976 gold medals… Read more »

Lane Four
Reply to  Dana Abbott
7 years ago

We have been trying for decades to get Shirley’s medals to her. I am hoping that it happens and soon.

7 years ago

Lets get some speculation started about this! Maybe the terrible meet last weekend was somehow a reflection of rough waters for the UofA team