Dave Salo has a new entry on his resume: assistant coach at Orange Coast College. In some ways, he is coming full circle, since the head coach of men’s and women’s swimming at OCC, Anthony Iacopetti, swam for Salo as an age grouper at Novaquatics. In a December 2020 interview, Iacopetti praised Salo, saying “Dave was the reason I later became a coach.”
Salo has a long and storied career in coaching. He was head coach at NOVA from 1990 to mid-2006 when he took over from Mark Schubert as head men’s and women’s coach at USC. While he retained the title of general manager at NOVA, Salo led the Trojans for 14 years until his retirement in 2020. Concurrently, he served a number of roles for USA Swimming, including:
- assistant coach for the USA women’s team in the 1999 Pan American Games
- assistant coach for the USA women’s team at the 2000 Olympic Games
- head coach for the USA men’s team at the Goodwill Games in 2001
- head coach for USA women’s teams to the 2013 World Championships
- head coach for USA women’s teams to the 2015 World Championships
- head coach of USA men’s team to the 2019 World Short Course Championships
After retiring from USC, Salo became head coach of the International Swimming League franchise Tokyo Frog Kings. He is head coach emeritus and executive consultant to the Novaquatics swim team. Finally, Salo coaches the recently created ProNOVA group at NOVA.
The California junior colleges missed their 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic and have only just started up again this season. In the 2019 season, the women won the CCCAA State Championship title for the 20th time. The men finished 22nd.
Following the 2019 season, OCC constructed a $29 million outdoor facility with a 65-meter pool and diving and water polo space. The pool is now finished, and, according to Salo, in a “just-add-swimmers” mode.
“One of my new gigs. Assistant coach Orange Coast College!! We’ve got some water. Ready for swimmers!”