New Arizona coach Eric Hansen added another coach to his roster today when he recruited Tracy Duchac to join the new Wildcats staff. Duchac was a former assistant with the Texas A&M women’s program, where she worked under coach Steve Bultman to help lead the Aggies to five-straight top 10 finishes at NCAA’s, including as high as 4th in 2008. Also in Duchac’s tenure at A&M, the University scored their first two National Champions (Alia Atkinson and Julia Wilkinson in back-to-back races in 2010).
Unlike most of the Arizona staff, Duchac has no direct ties to the University of Arizona. Geoff Hanson, who came with Hansen from Wisconsin, was an All-American swimmer at Arizona from 1993-1996. Both he, and Hansen, swam for Arizona’s Associate Head Coach Rick DeMont, who has been a part of the Wildcats’ program for over 30 years. Duchac fits in very well with this staff, as she worked mostly with the sprinters at A&M, while Hanson is a distance guy and DeMont works a lot with the stroke groups.
Prior to her time at A&M, Duchac was a volunteer Assistant for Purdue, and before that swam for the Boilermakers as a 3-time Academic All Big Ten selection, a school-record holding freestyler (she was the first Purdue woman under 23 seconds in the 50 free), and an Honorable Mention All-American in the 200 and 400 free relays. She graduated from Purdue in 2006.
Success has followed Duchac wherever she’s gone. In her year as a volunteer assistant at Purdue., the Boilermakers set 9 new team records. Before that, she was a high school state champion at Wisconsin. And of course, her time at Texas A&M, where she helped lead the Aggies to four Big 12 Championships in six years.
Are there assistants in the country with more experience than Duchac? There sure are. But what Duchac brings is a winning mentality. She’s never done anything but succeeded and has broken records at every stop of her swimming career, which is exactly the kind of mentality that it takes to be successful at a program like Arizona.