Dave Salo Adds Assistant Coach at Orange Coast College to His Lengthy Resume

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!”


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Foreign Embassy
3 years ago

I swam against iacopetti in high school. Wasn’t he on Golden West with Bud McAllister? Maybe he eventually left for Irvine. Can’t remember Bc of all the chlorine ..

3 years ago

Bringing the juice to the orange …

Grim Reapper
3 years ago

Salo also swam at Junior College (Santa Rosa, I believe) Obviously he will want lane space for pros…however, let’s not jump the gun and dismiss genuine intentions. I believe he wants to give back to a group of swimmers (Junior College) as that was probably a time where he has great memories from his own career as a student-athlete

Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

Man, that would be a fun retirement gig.

cynthia curran
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

This is true. I fond that information on the internet that he coach there before. Community College does get some of us mediocre age group swimmers. I swam for the rival Colden West in the 1970’s. Yeah, people do work when they attend Community college. Also, I read that Orange Coast has some dorms. Rent is very expensive in the area. Probably, most students still live at home. As for International, well, international students usually have more money since they pay higher tuition. So, yes, they do get some international students for sports.

3 years ago

Salo coached at OCC in the early 2000s. I believe he was actually a co-head coach

3 years ago

Probably just taking this job so he has a place to train his pro swimmers. Take notes David Marsh!!

Reply to  SCCOACH
3 years ago

why? he has Novaquatics pools already?

Reply to  SCCOACH
3 years ago

I doubt he actually wants the head coaching job. He just wants to angle his way in on the lane space. It really doesn’t bother me much. He is still considered an elite coach so give him a nice facility and let him do his job

3 years ago

I heard they have 5 swimmers on the team, so, maybe?

3 years ago

Is Anthony on his way out?

Former Pirate
Reply to  Swim
3 years ago

Doubt it. He’s the reason for the new pool. The guy has done a lot for the program. Not just the team, but just for the school in general. Only way he leaves is on his own terms, but I do not see that happening. He ran one of the most underrated JC programs, with the smallest facility. Now he finally has an amazing facility, plus the school just put in dorms a couple years back. He will easily have the best JC program for years to come. All that’s missing is a club program so he can take the swimmers he gets to the next level. JC programs can only train 3-months out of the year, unless the swimmers… Read more »

Last edited 3 years ago by Former Pirate

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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