Former USC Coach Dave Salo Tapped for Associate Head Coach at Arizona State

Arizona State University swimming and diving has announced that Dave Salo, a 2010 inductee into the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame, will serve as associate head coach beginning in the 2024-25 season.

Head coach Herbie Behm made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon, saying, “Dave Salo is a swimming icon. He’s a thinker who has pushed the sport forward for over 30 years and someone I’ve looked up too my entire career. Everything one can achieve as a swim coach, he’s achieved. I’m so lucky to be able to work with someone like Dave and I know the team will be in great hands with his leadership.”

Salo will join Behm, head diving coach Marc Briggs, and assistant coaches Derek Schmitt, Logan Hirka, Austin Pillado, Alex Sherman, and Sam Iida in Tempe next fall. Behm, who had been associate head coach since 2022, took the reins of the Sun Devils swimming and diving program on April 1st, when head coach Bob Bowman accepted the director of swimming role at the University of Texas.

The 2024-25 season will be Salo’s first collegiate campaign since retiring from the head coaching position at USC in 2020. He had led the Trojans for 14 years, finishing among the top 6 teams at NCAA Championships eight times (4 women/4 men), and producing 165 All-Americans (89 women/76 men) during his tenure.

While Salo retired from coaching at USC, he continued to be active at Irvine Novaquatics, as head coach of the ISL’s Tokyo Frog Kings, and at Orange Coast College where he was an assistant coach to former NOVA swimmer Anthony Iacopetti. Salo has also coached the recently created ProNOVA group at NOVA.

He said, “Herbie is one of the brightest and curious coaches in the country. I would not have considered collegiate coaching again with anyone else,” said Dave Salo. “I look forward to a partnership with Herbie to continue to advance and promote the Sun Devil program.”

In addition to coaching at NOVA and USC, Salo has been a USA Swimming National Coach several times, including at FINA World Championship in 2013 and 2015 (head women’s coach) and 2005 World Championships (head men’s coach), and at the 2000, 2004 and 2012 Olympic Games (assistant coach).

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SaloSwimmer
27 days ago

Just want to leave this comment for everyone slandering Dave’s legacy behind a computer screen, you know nothing about him as a person or a coach.

Dave is an incredible person and an even better coach. He let me train with him for free for four months, despite being a measly swimmer compared to the olympic greats that were training with him.

Dave is to thank for dispelling with the pseudoscientific training philosophy that suggests training 20 hours a week is somehow going to help you improve on a race that lasts less than a minute. He pioneered race pace training and I dropped 1.6 seconds in my 100 free in one summer season training with him. More… Read more »

Can’t kick can’t pull
Reply to  SaloSwimmer
27 days ago

Don’t know much but usually the crazier the better

Can’t kick can’t pull
Reply to  SaloSwimmer
27 days ago

Most legendary relay – have you not heard of when the Aussies smashed up like guitars?

laurelpalooza
28 days ago

Can’t imagine his misogynistic flavor re: Hosszu, LGBT rights is great news for the women’s program outlook

SaloSwimmer
Reply to  laurelpalooza
27 days ago

Right, Misogynistic. Thats why Rebecca Soni won gold training with him. Not to mention others like Breeja Larson and Efimova. Stop slandering coaches you know nothing about

snailSpace
28 days ago

Lol, no wonder the Hungarians are hightailing it out of there. He does not have a good reputation here. He reportedly told Hosszu that she should do something else with her life after London 2012. Talk about not recognizing potential.

Texan
28 days ago

This is a pretty incredible hire. Salo was good, not great, leading USC, but here he doesn’t have to be the head coach. This will be akin to Urbanchek coaching for years after he retired. Despite any beliefs he had about the pandemic and shutting down everything, Salo knows swimming and is an asset to anyone he’s helping. He’s at that part of his life where he just wants to coach and doesn’t need to be in charge. I wouldn’t have thought you’d get him to leave L.A., where I assumed he still was, but kudos to Herbie for reaching out.

Xman
Reply to  Texan
28 days ago

This is close enough where he can go to LA whenever he wants and I doubt he’s gonna stick around in Tempe full-time once the college season ends.

Texan
Reply to  Xman
28 days ago

That’s a good point.

Eddie
28 days ago

regardless of his political views, I think Dave Salo is one of the greats and I’m excited to see how he contributes to the team!

pete kennedy
Reply to  Eddie
28 days ago

political beliefs???????????????????????????

CADWALLADER GANG
Reply to  pete kennedy
28 days ago

just take one good look at his twitter page

maturity
Reply to  CADWALLADER GANG
27 days ago

I read through his current twitter page entries and found nothing offensive. Maybe you need to look in a mirror Cadwallader.

Mark Minier
Reply to  Eddie
28 days ago

coaches can’t have personal views on politics? keep that crap out of here this is a swimming site

Coach not swimming coach
28 days ago

ASU jumped the gun with naming Behm head coach. They’re now correcting course. Let’s see if Behm stays for the whole season.

Xman
Reply to  Coach not swimming coach
28 days ago

He will. Salo will be there to mentor him in terms of training and provide some recruiting credibility and retention of Olympic hopefuls.

I don’t think Salo wants to lead a college program and deal with all the admin tasks and management type tasks. Basically the team can say to recruits they have a Olympic level coach on staff.

KingDevil
Reply to  Coach not swimming coach
28 days ago

What are you talking about? They didn’t jump the gun, Behm was always their choice after Bob. They worked a lot just to keep him in the program over the years and not take another HC job so that he could assume the role. This is Herbie’s team and Dave will be a great compliment to the staff with his knowledge and experience. Behm is here for a very long time. Good hire!

Drew
28 days ago

They certainly could have done a lot worse.

bobthebuilderrocks
28 days ago

Indiana get Matt King back!

Shogun
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
28 days ago

‘Back’ implies he was ever there at some point.

Andrew
Reply to  Shogun
28 days ago

He committed there originally in high school, before switching to Bama then transferring to UVA (lol) and now transferring to IU

Bing chilling
Reply to  Andrew
28 days ago

SNAKE

relays are fun
Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
28 days ago

what does this have to o with Dave Salo?

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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