Notre Dame has added Brazilian Olympian and Louisville alum João de Lucca as an assistant coach and director of operations.
Since his arrival in South Bend in 2022, head coach Chris Lindauer, himself a former Cardinal, has assembled a staff of Louisville alumni. So far it’s paid off– last season the men’s team achieved their highest NCAA finish in program history. Now with a roster led by breakout star Chris Guiliano and bolstered by a handful of high profile transfers, the Fighting Irish are in a prime position to move up in the national rankings.
Lindauer said in part on de Lucca’s hiring: “As a three-time NCAA champion and two- time Olympian, João brings world-class experience to our program. As a coach, he will bring a high level of technical and strategic value to Notre Dame. His hire will continue to level up our program at the national and world class-level on which we are building.”
De Lucca most recently served as a swim clinician for Fitter & Faster alongside being a private para-athlete coach. He was a personal coach for the Race Pace Swim Club from August 2019 to 2020, and coached for Cardinal Aquatics, taking over as head coach after his retirement from professional swimming in 2020.
While at Louisville, de Lucca was a three-time NCAA champion, winning the 200 free in 2013 and 2014, as well as the 100 free in 2014. He is a two-time Olympian, representing Brazil at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. In Rio in front of a home crowd, de Lucca anchored Brazil’s 4×100 free relay to a 5th place finish.
Also on staff at Notre Dame is NCAA Champion and American Olympian Kelsi (Worrell) Dahlia (Louisville ‘16), Trevor Carroll (‘17), Kameron Chastain (‘14), and Josh Stanfield, as well as dive coach Mark Bradshaw.
The season has already started for ND. The men are unbeaten so far, picking up wins against Wisconsin, Purdue, Penn State, and Pitt. The women fell to Wisconsin and Purdue, but bounced back to complete the sweep in a tri-meet against Penn State and Pitt.
Next up, Notre Dame faces off against Louisville this Friday, November 3. Last year, the Cardinal triumphed over the Fighting Irish.