Indiana Adds Former Minnesota Men’s Head Coach Dennis Dale to Staff

The Indiana Hoosiers have hired former Minnesota Men’s head coach Dennis Dale to fill the spot that was left vacant in their coaching staff when associate head coach Donny Brush resigned in December. Indiana head coach Ray Looze confirmed the move today, and a formal announcement is expected later. Dale’s work will officially begin July 1.

“Dennis Dale brings a wealth of swimming knowledge to our staff,” Looze said. “Not only is he one of the NCAA all-time great coaches but is a first-class individual who puts his swimmers needs above all else.  There are very few people involved in swimming who possess are greater passion for the sport.”

Dale, a Minnesota alum, was a coach with the Minnesota men’s team in some capacity for 29 years. Most of that was as a standalone program, until the 2011-2012 season, when Minnesota combined their men’s and women’s programs under Kelly Kremer. With Indiana, his title will be Associate Head Coach for Men and Women, meaning that he’ll work with both the Hoosiers men and women.

“I am excited and thrilled to join Coach Looze and his staff, as well as the Indiana family,” Dale said.

After the 2013-2014 season, Dale and the Minnesota program parted ways. Though Minnesota’s swim team and athletics department never responded to questions about the nature of the separation, but those close to the situation tell us that it was on less-than-amicable terms.

Now the 6-time Big Ten Men’s Coach of the Year will head to Indiana to team up with former rival Looze. Minnesota and Indiana have a great rivalry as the two dominant women’s team in the Big Ten, and though that’s spilled over somewhat into the men’s side, it is certainly not as intense as, say, Michigan-Ohio State.

Dale’s most recent success in his specific work with Minnesota’s men’s sprint program was developing Big Ten Champion and 4th-place NCAA finisher in the 50 free Derk Toomey. This makes him an ideal complement in the Indiana program: one that has struggled mightily with their freestyle sprint groups.

“Coach Dale will join Kyle Hastings in working with our sprint group as we continue to invest in this area of our program,” Looze said. “It is my belief that by assigning two full-time staff members to sprinting we will take the necessary steps needed to move Indiana back into contention for the Big Ten title and into the NCAA top-five national rankings as we ultimately pursue an NCAA championship.”

This could spur a rebuild of that group for Indiana: a team whose best 50 freestyler last year was freshman Anze Tavcar (19.91 – 11th-best in the Big Ten), but where three of their four fastest on a flat-start were all freshmen. Both the men’s and women’s teams have great sprint talent coming in, including Kaitlin Kitchens, Alli Rockett, Blake Pieroni, Delaney Bernard, and Ryan Gordon.

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7 years ago

It’s on like Donkey Kong!

7 years ago

Very, very interesting! Spicy!

7 years ago

Don’t forget about Ali Khalafalla as sprint talent coming in! 20.36 in the 50 free and 44.81 in the 100. Has been 19.90 on a relay. The man is about 5’9-5’10. He comes from Egypt and is gonna have a killer freshman year next year at Indiana!

Frank Comfort
7 years ago

What a great move for IU swimming. Dennis Dale is as fine a sprint coach as there is in the nation. His experience will only enhanse everything within the IU program.

Brad "Purple Knight" Flood
Reply to  Frank Comfort
7 years ago

Agreed whole heartedly Frank! Best Wishes Dennis!

7 years ago

Ray Looze…that was a CLASSY move on your part! You will find that to be a GREAT hire!

Adam Mitchell
7 years ago

Dennis is one of the best sprint coaches in the country. Smart move by the IU program. Loss for the gophers.

Russ Payne
Reply to  Adam Mitchell
7 years ago

Completely agree, Mitch.

7 years ago

Good move here. Dennis, send me an IU Swimming t-shirt. I’ll put the yellow and maroon shirt to the bottom of the pile. NMCoach let’s meet up at an IU meet this season.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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