Press Release courtesy of UCSD Athletics
New University of California San Diego men’s and women’s swimming and diving head coach David Marsh has finalized his staff on the eve of the Tritons’ official 2017-18 season opener.
Joining Marsh for his first go-around on the Canyonview Aquatic Center deck are Mike Travers, Rafaella Suarez, Savannah Miller and Ambert Sawaya.
Marko Djordjevic remains as the top assistant coach for a fourth year, adding recruiting coordinator duties. He is in his fifth season overall with the Tritons.
Travers and Miller will serve as assistant coaches. Travers is a swimming veteran who has switched coasts from Rockville Centre, N.Y. He was in charge of the Division II women’s program at LIU Post the past two seasons, earning Metropolitan Conference Coach of the Year distinction upon his return to the Brookville, N.Y., campus as head coach in 2015-16. Travers previously served as an assistant there from 2002-13, as well as at Army in 2013-14, and with Team Suffolk Swim Club. He is also a retired New York City firefighter of over 20 years.
Miller swam collegiately at the NCAA Division I level across town for San Diego State from 2012-16, captaining the Aztecs and aiding them to a pair of Mountain West Conference titles in 2013 and 2015. She has prior club-level coaching experience with CLASS Aquatics and Manta Ray Aquatics from 2011-17, and also works at Elite Athlete Services within the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.
Suarez, the Tritons’ head diving coach, dove at San Diego State from 2009-13. Like Miller, she was a part of two Mountain West championships, in 2011 and as teammates in 2013. Suarez also competed internationally for her native Ecuador, earning bronze in the 10-meter platform synchronized event at IX South American Games in 2010 in Medellin, Colombia. She is also currently an assistant coach with Aztec Divers San Diego, and previously with Crown Valley Divers in Laguna Niguel.
Emmett Walling stays on for a fifth season as a volunteer assistant coach. The former USC All-American (2011) and captain will focus primarily on the Triton sprinters. Sawaya will also aid in a volunteer capacity. The Chula Vista native and graduate of The Bishop’s School in La Jolla has returned home to San Diego after swimming the past four years for NCAA Division III powerhouse Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. During Sawaya’s time with the Lords, Kenyon won national titles in 2014 and 2015 ahead of a pair of runner-up placements in 2016 and 2017.
Marsh, who directed the 2016 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team to 16 medals, took over the UC San Diego programs on June 27. It marks a first return to the college scene for the longtime coach of elite swimmers, since directing his alma mater, Auburn, to 12 combined men’s and women’s NCAA Division I team titles from 1990-2007.
The seventh-ranked UC San Diego men and No. 10 women both begin their campaigns this Saturday, Oct. 28, as nine-time defending champions of the Pacific Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference (PCSC). The dual meets against the nationally-ranked Division III squads of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps are slated for a 12 p.m. start at UCSD’s Canyonview facility in La Jolla. Parking and admission are free.