From one sprint coaching legend to another: Indiana associate head coach Dennis Dale will retire at the end of this season, making way for rising Canyons coach Coley Stickels to join the Hoosier staff.
Stickels is one of the hottest club coaches in the nation at the moment, especially from a sprinting perspective. Heading up the Canyons Aquatic Club in California, Stickels spent the past few seasons overseeing the national and international breakouts of American record-holder Abbey Weitzeil and Canadian Olympian Santo Condorelli. Stickels has been with Canyons since 2012.
Dale is a legend in the Big Ten, where he led the Minnesota program for 29 years, including 7 Big Ten titles. He left the Golden Gophers in 2014, resurfacing as an associate head coach for Indiana. In two and a half seasons so far at IU, Dale has helped the Hoosier sprint program explode, especially thanks to NCAA All-American Blake Pieroni, who also made the U.S. Olympic team over the summer. Dale will finish out this collegiate season before retiring. Indiana says Stickels will join its program as of July 1, which is, uncoincidentally, the day recruiting opens on the upcoming crop of high school seniors.
The full Indiana press release announcing Stickel’s hire and Dale’s retirement:
Indiana Swimming Adds Stickels to Coaching Staff
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University head swimming coach Ray Looze announced the hiring of Coley Stickels as Associate Head Sprint Swimming coach effective July 1.
Stickels will take over for Associate Head Coach Dennis Dale, who will be retiring at the end of the season.
“Coley Stickels has distinguished himself as one of the finest sprint coaches, not only in the United States, but the world,” Looze remarked. “What makes him such a great fit for Indiana are his values. Coley believes in team first and prioritizing the happiness of our student-athletes. Additionally, he is one of the most innovative minds in the sport of swimming, which falls in line with the great accomplishments of Doc Counsilman. We look forward to him joining our staff July 1 in our pursuit of the national title and the Olympic podium.”
Stickels comes to Bloomington from the prestigious Canyons Aquatic Club in Santa Clarita, Calif., where he served as head coach since 2012.
“It is an honor to join the Indiana University swimming program and Hoosier tradition of excellence,” Stickels said. “I am excited to bring my passion and creativity to Indiana in the pursuit of a national championship. I am confident that with the fantastic resources the university has to offer, along with the tremendous staff, we will continue to rise to the top and see great success.”
During his time with the Canyons Aquatic Club, Stickels helped lead the team to unprecedented success. Over 50 Southern California Swimming records were broken by Canyons swimmers, five American records, one world record, six National Age Group records and four national high school records.
Most recently, Stickels helped guide current World, U.S. Open and American record holder Abbey Weitzeil to gold and silver medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He also helped lead 2015 World Championship bronze medalist Santo Condorelli to an Olympic final in Rio.
On the international level, Stickels’ swimmers have earned World Championship gold and bronze medals, Pan-Am Games silver and bronze medals, World University Games gold, silver and bronze medals, Pan-Pacific silver medal and Short Course World Championships gold and silver medals. In 2013-14, Canyons swimmers qualified and competed in the Junior World Championships, as well as Junior Pan-Pacific Championships.
Since 2013, Coley has been a USA National team coach, including as a staff member of the 2014 Short Course World Team in Doha, Qatar.
Prior to Canyons, Coley was the head coach of Phoenix Swim Club where he helped lead international sprint superstar and former world record holder Roland Schoeman. Schoeman placed fifth in the 2012 in the Olympic Games.
In addition, Coley coached National Age Group champions, Junior National Champions and nine Olympic Trials qualifiers in 2012, as well as the youngest swimmer at the meet (13 years old).
From 2003-2011, Coley coached Lake Oswego Swim Club. During his tenure, his swimmers broke eight National Age Group records and qualified the youngest swimmer in history to the 2008 Olympic Trials (age 12). In 2010, Coley was named coach to the South African Pac Pacific team.
In total, Coley has coached swimmers to 15 National Age Group Records and over 50 No. 1-nationally ranked age group swimmers and relays. In 2001, Coley coached the men’s and women’s teams as the assistant coach at Dartmouth, where he also was enrolled in the post graduate program.
During his collegiate career at the University of Arizona, Stickels was a 14-time All-America honoree, graduating cum laude in 2001. With the Wildcats, he was named a First-Team Academic All-American and First-Team Academic All-Pac 10 in 2000.
Stickels was also a member of the U.S. National Team from 1999-2000 and also swam for Team USA at the Short Course World Championships in 1999.
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