Doak Finch Named Interim Head Coach At Duke For Remainder of 2022-23 Season

Doak Finch will take over as head coach of the Duke swimming & diving team for the remainder of the season, the school announced Thursday.

Finch will serve in the role on an interim basis following the death of longtime head coach Dan Colella, who died earlier this month at the age of 60.

Colella led the Blue Devils’ program for 17 seasons.

Finch has been on Duke’s staff since 2016, and has served as an associate head coach since the conclusion of the 2016-17 season.

Last season, Finch helped propel the Duke women to a fifth-place finish at the ACC Championships, matching a program best, and they also finished 24th at the NCAA Championships.

He guided Blue Devil swimmers to 10 program records over the course of the campaign, including five individually from Sarah Foley.

Finch also oversaw eight student-athletes who became All-Americans during the 2019-20 season, and he was also on staff when Duke set a program record of 13 individual and one relay All-American honor at the 2019 NCAA Championships.

Prior to his career at Duke, Finch spent three seasons as an assistant coach with Penn State, helping lead the Nittany Lions to top-25 finishes at NCAAs in 2014 and 2015 and 2016 for the women and 2014 and 2015 for the men.

His coaching career kicked off at his alma mater, the University of Virginia, where Finch spent 12 seasons as an assistant coach.

During his collegiate career, Finch was an 11-time All-American and 11-time ACC champion, winning eight conference titles individually and three more on the Cavalier relays. He was also the 1997 ACC Rookie of the Year, the MVP of the 1998 ACC Championship meet, and earned finals berths in the 200 fly at both the 1999 World University Games and the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials.

A native of Southern Pines, N.C., Finch graduated from Virginia in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Colella died last week due to complications with prostate cancer. His illustrious career at Duke included sending a team to the Women’s NCAA Championships in each of the past 13 seasons, including a program-record 12 participants in 2018. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, January 15, 2023 at the Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center the day after the team’s meet against NC State.

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2 months ago

He’s doing a great job. Think Duke is handling this correct. Use interim for the rest of the season. Morn Dan. Then promote

2 months ago

Big Doak!

2 months ago

Seems to have a lot of experience at the college level.

2 months ago

I only had the fortune of briefly crossing paths with Doak ~6-8 years ago, and even then it was clear that he was head coach caliber. I don’t have a horse in this race, but Duke athletics should save their searching money for the next sport that needs a coaching slot filled.

Mike jones
2 months ago

What happened w/ him at uva?

Reply to  Mike jones
2 months ago

What happened to you and rap

Creed Ko
2 months ago

Take the interim tag off of Doak at the end of the season. He has earned it. Duke is fortunate to have him.

Reply to  Creed Ko
2 months ago

Couldn’t agree more!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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