USC head coach Dave Salo is ending his career leading the Trojans with a bang. After 14 seasons leading the Trojans, Salo will end his career there as the Pac-12 Women’s Coach of the Year.
Salo announced earlier this year that he would step down from his role as the head men’s and women’s coach of the varsity team at the end of the NCAA Championship meet. At the time, that included a commitment to continue coaching Olympic hopefuls through the Tokyo Games, though that timeline is now looking very different than when it was first presented.
Salo says that he will continue preparing for a new coach to take over the program for the 2020-2021 season until June 30th. He has no hard plans as of yet, but does plan to land back with the the NOVAquatics program in Irvine where he is the head coach emeritus, possibly doing some work with their age group swimmers. He’s still evaluating his plans to work with USC post-graduate and pro swimmers depending on other commitments.
The USC women finished in 3rd place at the 2020 Pac-12 Championships with 1,212 points, just 12.5 points behind Cal, the 2019 NCAA runner-ups, for the title. Stanford won the meet with 1,598 points.
The Trojans took half of the conference’s awards, including Swimmer of the Year (Louise Hansson) and Diving Freshman of the Year (Nike Agunbiade) when the conference announced awards on Wednesday. The rest of the honors went to the conference champion Stanford Cardinal, who earned Swimming Freshman of the Year (Emma Wheal), Diver of the Year (Mia Paulsen), and Diving Coach of the Year (Patrick Jeffrey).
Individual Resumes, courtesy Pac-12 Conference:
SWIMMER OF THE YEAR – Louise Hansson, Sr., USC (Helsingborg, Sweden)
Hansson (Helsingborg, Sweden) was named the 2020 Pac-12 Women’s Swimmer of the Year after winning three individual titles at the Pac-12 Championships, the most of any swimmer at the meet. The senior swimmer tacked on four top-three relay finishes, including victories in the 400- and 800-yard freestyle relays. At the Pac-12 Championships, Hansson recorded a meet-high total of 155.5 points, helping the Trojans to a third-place finish. Her three individual and two relay titles in one conference meet is a Trojan record. Hansson was named the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Meet as voted on by the swimming head coaches. She claimed the 200-yard individual medley a title with the eighth fastest in the country this year (1:54.09). She also nabbed her fourth-consecutive Pac-12 title in the 100-yard butterfly (49.94). Hansson is a second-year USC captain and was the 2019 national champion in the 100 and 200 butterfly events. USC earns it fifth Swimmer of the Year honor in Pac-12 history, its first since 2011.
SWIMMING FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR – Emma Wheal, Fr., STANFORD (Austin, Texas)
Wheal (Austin, Texas) was named the 2020 Pac-12 Swimming Freshman of the Year after helping the Cardinal to its fourth-consecutive Conference title. With a total of 104.5 points at the Pac-12 Championships, Wheal recorded the most points of any freshman, and the 12th-most overall, at the meet. Wheal’s highest finish at the conference championships came in the 100-yard butterfly where she finished fourth with a time of 52:16 and was the only freshman in the final. The freshman was a part of Stanford’s winning 200-yard medley squad and was the anchor in the second-place 200-yard freestyle relay. She took eighth in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.42. Stanford tabs its 10th Freshman Swimmer of the Year honor in Pac-12 history, marking six-consecutive season that the Cardinal have earned the honor.
SWIMMING COACH OF THE YEAR – Dave Salo, USC
Salo was named the 2020 Pac-12 Swimming Coach of the Year for the second time in his Pac-12 after he was voted co-coach of the year in 2016. Salo led the Trojans to a third-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships, finishing with 1,212 points and marking the 10th time in the last 11 years the Trojans have placed top-three or better. On the season, USC finished with a 5-3 overall record, going 5-2 in conference meets. USC earns its fourth Swimming Coach of the Year award in Pac-12 history.