Newly-promoted Florida Atlantic head coach Lara Preacco has announced the complete staff that she will lead into the 2014-2015 season: her first at the helm of the Owls after five (disjointed) seasons as an assistant.
Preacco has named Bryan Gillooly as the new head diving coach, and has brought in Kyle Berg and Manny Noguchi as assistants on a relatively high-profile staff for the program that is looking for a turnaround.
Gilooly comes from the diving powerhouse at the University of Miami, from where he graduated in 1999. He was a two-time NCAA Champion for the Hurricanes, a 10-time All-American, a three-time Olympic Trials finalist, a 15-time Junior National Champion, a Junior World Champion, and a U.S. National Team member.
His previous coaching jobs include as the diving coach at Florida International, another Sunshine State Division I program, from 2004-2009, and the last few years at the powerful age group program YCF Diving in Orlando.
Berg comes from the NCAA Division III’s top program historically Kenyon College. Berg’s time at Kenyon spanned both the Jim Steen era and the Jesse Book era. Before jumping to the college ranks, he was the head coach of STAR Aquatics in Greensboro, and has also coach at several swim camps around the country.
Berg comes from a Kenyon winning tradition that saw the men’s team win the 2014 NCAA Division III title, and while the culture of Division I swimming is very different from the culture of Division III swimming, in this instance the level of swimmer with which Berg will be working won’t change much given Kenyon’s quality.
Preacco has also added Noguchi from the University of Wyoming – a program that saw drastic improvements during his time there. Noguchi will lead his new program’s recruiting efforts. That’s a role he also held at Wyoming.
In his last recruiting class with the Cowboys, Noguchi hit the nearby hotbeds of California and Colorado hard and brought in swimmers like Ryan Ball, a 1:45.3 200 yard backstroker; Kyle White, a 20.44/44.76 sprint freestyler; and Wade Nelson, a 48.63 100 yard butterflier.
Any one of those three swimmers would have an immediate and monstrous impact upon FAU’s team. For example, in the 2013-2014 season, they didn’t have any butterfliers go under 50 seconds, nor any 200 backstrokers go under 1:53.
FAU’s cupboard for the new staff isn’t entirely bare, however. The men’s team will build around junior Matthieu Burtez from France, who went 19.8 in the 50 yard freestyle and 43.64 in the 100 yard freestyle last year.
Noguchi’s prior coaching stops came as the recruiting coordinator and assistant coach at Michigan State, and as a graduate assistant at Georgia.