Auburn Hires Houston’s Ryan Wochomurka As New Head Coach

Auburn has hired Ryan Wochomurka from the mid-major power Houston Cougars as its new head women’s and men’s swimming & diving coach.

He will replace Gary Taylor, who in conjunction with Auburn “mutually parted ways” last week after neither the men’s or women’s teams scored at the NCAA Championship meet.

Wochomurka is an Auburn alumnus who represented the school during its heyday in the mid-2000s. As an athlete, Wochomurka helped Auburn win three NCAA team titles in 2003, 2004, and 2005. He broke into coaching with a fast-rising Louisville program, rising to Associate Head Coach and Men’s Recruiting Coordinator.

He’s been with the University of Houston since 2015 – in fact, his hiring at Auburn comes on the exact day (April 23) that he was hired in Houston six years ago. When he took over, the Houston women were coming off of a 6th-place finish in their first season in the AAC. Houston was 6th again in Wochomurka’s first year, then rose to 3rd in 2016 and won the next five conference titles.

Just under three years ago, Auburn hired Taylor away from NC State. Taylor took over for former head coach Brett Hawkewho had coached the Auburn Tigers for a decade before resigning in the spring of 2018.

During Taylor’s tenure, the Auburn men placed 40th at NCAAs in 2019 and didn’t score in 2021. The Auburn women were 12th in 2019, but did not score in 2021. At SECs, the men were 8th out of 10 programs in 2019, 2020, and in 2021. The women were 6th of 12 programs in 2019, 5th of 12 in 2020, and 9th of 12 in 2021. Both programs also had multiple athletes in the NCAA transfer portal: at least 5 men and 4 women from the Auburn program were in the portal this season.

Auburn is the fourth SEC program with a coaching change this offseason. Coley Stickels resigned at Alabama midway through the season, with Ozzie Quevedo finishing out the season and Margo Geer taking over next season. South Carolina moved on from McGee Moody in a mutual agreement, hiring away Florida women’s head coach Jeff Poppell to fill the spot. That caused Florida to re-combine its men’s and women’s programs under men’s head coach Anthony Nesty.

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SwimmerSupport
1 year ago

Ryan we are excited to see the new culture and staff you bring to Auburn! Just some belief in the athletes and knowing what makes them “kick”, will create winning attitudes and lead to overall success.

Cal fan
1 year ago

Congrats! Hope to see Auburn success in the future.

Alo
1 year ago

Who is downvoting all of these?

MarshMadness
1 year ago

Was Rowdy the runner-up?

Fly 100
Reply to  MarshMadness
1 year ago

Sir Charles !

Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

Not entirely sure this is the best long-term move for him. The way UH has invested in sports facilities (largest collegiate natatorium in the U.S., new basketball arena – premiere coaches in track, basketball, football) and Tilman Fertita’s philanthropy/leverage has it on a major ascent. Huge region to recruit from with now no Eddie to contend with. Auburn, OTH, has a nice, but very outdated natatorium, an idiot for an AD, and glory years from a different era. The “Auburn culture” the alums are touting has zero resonance with 18 year olds today.

Admin
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

I’m not sure what standard you’re using for “largest collegiate natatorium in the US,” but I can’t think of an obvious measure where that’s true.

PsychoDad
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Maybe he meant new student rec center that natatorium is part of. UH is impressive to visit and the President is very much into investing in athletics.

I was pushing our daughter so go to UH, that is why we visited, which would have been free for her, but she wanted to be a Longhorn and that was not subject to negotiations. She just graduated and I am $100K+ short. 🙂

Last edited 1 year ago by PsychoDad
Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

A “natatorium” is a building containing a swimming pool. What’s labeled as the IUPUI “natatorium” includes in its SFage the  IUPUI School Health and Human Science and the Polaris Fitness Center. The UH rec center housing the 70 meter x 25 yard pool — hence, the natatorium — is 264K SF. IUPUI’s is 224K SF.  Care to name a larger one?

Admin
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

So the 264k number means you’re including the entire student Rec Center attached to it. In that case, there are MANY bigger. A&M, two hours away, has its pool in the same building as its rec center, which gets you to about 400k square feet.

I think most people would stop counting natatorium square footage when you get off the pool deck and connected coaches offices and locker rooms.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Fine. My point lost in your nitpicking is that the Auburn facilities are a comparative dump. And it’s “natatoriuM.” Don’t go ALL CAPS me.

Austinpoolboy
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

51 meter pool. 😀

Sarcastic
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

While I agree Greene’s choices at the start weren’t great, he’s been making a lot of positive moves to revitalize Auburn sports. I graduated three years ago, and every time I go back the campus has been updated in some way, so not sure what you mean by “outdated”. They’ve done a lot of updating to the pool as of recently.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Sarcastic
1 year ago

The pool facility basically hasn’t been upgraded since the 90’s. Sure, they added a scoreboard, redid the record boards, but it has a 90’s feel to it. Fast pool, but locker rooms, seating capacity, etc. are not what you’d expect from an SEC powerhouse. They haven’t had a major meet there since about 2005.

Swim3057
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

They have hosted the SEC meet every 4-5 years but have chosen to not bid for the NCAA meets since they last hosted those meets. Based upon some of the facilities that have hosted NCAAs, they likely would have gotten another meet as their facility is comparable to some but not all of the other host sites. Auburns recent lack of success is not due to facility issues.

Swimnerd
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

They had SECs in 2020. The pools, dorms, athletic dining, and academic center are top notch and so convenient for the athletes. Locker rooms were just redone last year, the pool is older but still nice and nothing like the outdoor pool with the sunrise.

Stewie
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

At UH he wasn’t recruiting against Eddie. He coached a women’s only program, so that would have been against Carol.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Stewie
1 year ago

And how long do you think before they have a men’s team? Like zero seconds.

Stewie
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

Houston had a men’s team once. It was cut in 1984. I don’t see it coming back again.

NM Coach
1 year ago

This is a GREAT HIRE!!!! Congratulations Ryan!

James E Power
1 year ago

Ryan,
Thank you want you did for our Coogs! Thank you for being a great gentleman and coach. May your path be challenging and worthy to follow the swimming traditions of Auburn. Your promotion has always been expected so we are excited from you and your family. I will have to cheer the Gators, of course, but Auburn will be our family’s second favorite SEC team now!
Jim Power

Wavey Davey
1 year ago

Decent hire. Love the carousel, Huge Opening at UH now.

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Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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