Auburn Hires Kirk Grand as New Assistant Coach

The Auburn Tigers have hired Kirk Grand as a full-time assistant coach for the program, which is a promotion after three years of working as a volunteer assistant.

The 28-year old Grand, who has a PhD in psychophysiology from Auburn, swam at Miami University in Ohio, has built a reputation on the science side of the sport, having been published in many publications, presenting at the ASCA World Clinic, and contributing to the book The Science of Swimming Faster.

Grand is a graduate of the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming at Indiana University.

He was named the 2012 Indiana High School Athletic Association State High School Coach of the Year and the 2012 National High School Federation Sectional Coach of the Year while coaching Bloomington South High School.

Auburn’s staff has seen a big shakeup this off-season, but on-balance, here is how it looks:

  • Brett Hawke (Head coach)
  • Lauren Hancock (Associate head coach – Women)
  • Sergio Lopez (Associate head coach) – new
  • Jeff Shaffer (Head diving coach)
  • Tyler McGill (Assistant coach)
  • Bryan Karkoska (Strength coach)
  • Kirk Grand (Assistant coach) – new
  • Director of Ops: Vacant

Leaving the program this off-season:

Full press release is below:

AUBURN, Ala. – Kirk Grand, who has been the volunteer assistant coach for Auburn Swimming & Diving since 2013, has been elevated to a full-time assistant coach, head coach Brett Hawke announced on Wednesday.

“Kirk has been a volunteer assistant with the program for the past three years and it’s an honor to welcome him onto the staff full-time after he received his Doctorate in Kinesiology,” Hawke said. “The athletes on the team know and respect him, and we look forward to utilizing his knowledge in shaping the program in the future.”

“I think the staff Brett has assembled is phenomenal,” Grand said. “I am excited to work with and learn from Brett, Jeff Shaffer, Sergio Lopez, Lauren Hancock, Tyler McGill and PK (Bryan Karkoska). Each coach brings a unique experience and perspective, but we all share the common goal of helping young men and women pursue excellence in and out of the pool.”

Grand, who specialized in psychophysiology while earning his PhD from Auburn, assisted with the day-to-day functions of the Auburn swimming and diving program over the past three seasons. He presented evidence-based research to the team and lead mindfulness, self-talk, physiology and performance anxiety information sessions.

“The vision Auburn University has demonstrated since arriving on campus three years ago is exciting,” Grand said. “Auburn is an academic and athletic powerhouse that strives to be second to none in both arenas. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of that vision. Auburn is a special place with an amazing atmosphere! Everyone is always willing to smile, say hello and chat for a while. I have lived many places but have never felt more at home than here in Auburn. It truly is an Auburn Family.”

Grand remains a research associate for the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming at Indiana University and has also previously worked with the Longhorn Swim Camp and has been a USA Swimming Head Coach in Bloomington, Ind., designing training plans for athletes ranging from national level to learn to swim. From 2011-13 he was a head men’s high school swim coach and a swim technique instructor in Bloomington, Ind.

Grand was named the 2012 Indiana High School Athletic Association State High School Coach of the Year and the 2012 National High School Federation Sectional Coach of the Year.

Grand graduated Cum Laude from Ohio State University in 2010 after being a member of the Miami (Ohio) University swim team from 2006-08. He earned his Master’s in Exercise Physiology, Human Performance from Indiana University in 2013.

Grand has been published in multiple publications as well as the book, The Science of Swimming Faster. He has also presented at the American Swim Coaches Association World Clinic on the limits to superior performance.

Grand replaces Ozzie Quevedo, who was named an assistant coach at Florida State earlier in August.

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Zach DeWitt

He’s going to be a major impact for them if they allow it. Kirk knows the science forwards / backwards and more than anything, he also has the ability to generate relationships with others.

Congratulations to both Kirk and Auburn.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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