|Jennah Haney has been named the assistant coach with The University of Akron swimming and diving team, head coach Brian Peresie announced on Thursday.
Her hiring is pending approval by the University’s Board of Trustees.
Haney joined Akron’s staff in 2016 as the program’s graduate assistant. In her new role, Haney’s responsibilities will dramatically increase. In addition to day-to-day coaching activities, she will also be responsible for coordinating the recruiting efforts of top-notch student-athletes.
“Please join me in congratulating Jennah Haney as our assistant swimming coach,” Peresie said. “We are all very excited to have Jennah join our staff full-time. She already has great rapport with our team, staff, and community. Jennah is a high-level coach that cares tremendously about the students she coaches. Our goals are very high. Jennah is excited to help our program move up the ranks in the NCAA. Although we have come a long way in four years, we all believe this program can go even farther with Jennah in this critical position.”
Haney is a former swimmer at the University of Wisconsin. A four-time letterwinner, she was named to the Academic All-Big Ten team for three consecutive seasons (2012-14), and awarded the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award as a freshman. She competed in the 400 IM and 200 breaststroke and finished in the Top 16 in the Big Ten in back-to-back years.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be the assistant swimming and diving coach at The University of Akron,” Haney said. “I want to thank Brian as well as AD Larry Williams and the entire Akron Athletics Department for the opportunity. After spending the past year as the graduate assistant, it is clear that there is truly something special happening within Akron Swimming and Diving. I am excited to continue to help this program rise to a Top 20 national ranking.”
Prior to arriving at Akron, Haney was living in Naples, Fla., and joined T2 Aquatics as an assistant coach working as the lead coach of senior performance and senior one groups. Haney worked with members of the National and USA Olympic coaching staffs during her time in Florida.
After completing her swimming career, Haney began coaching at the Badger Aquatic Club in Madison, Wis., the largest and most competitive club in the city. There, she coached at the teenage level and began working with national level swimmers in the senior age group.
A native of Milton, Wis., Haney graduated from Wisconsin in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in consumer affairs in business. Haney earned a master’s in education/sport science at The University of Akron in 2017.
Hanney replaces Meg (Finnerty) Mergel who resigned after nine seasons with the Zips, five as an assistant coach and four as a student-athlete, to concentrate on family.
“On behalf of the team, staff, and The University of Akron, I would like to thank Meg for all she has done for this program over the past nine years,” Peresie said. “She was a model student-athlete and superior assistant coach. We will all miss her on the pool deck and wish her all the best as she continues raising a family and pursuing other career interests.”
Mergel was a part of the Zips’ four consecutive Mid-American Conference championships. The Zips finished the 2016-17 season ranked 32nd in the NCAA on collegeswimming.com‘s Division I team rankings.
“I cannot put into words how grateful I am for all the opportunities that were given to me at The University of Akron,” Mergel said. “I want to personally thank Brian Peresie and coaching staff for all of the memories, hard work, and dedication that we have all put in to making this a program success. Thank you to the team for your commitment and sacrifices that you have all made both in and out of the pool. It is very emotional for me to leave a place that is so close to my heart, but I am looking forward to my future endeavors that will allow me to spend more time with my family. Once a Zip, always a Zip.”
What They’re Saying About Jennah Haney …
“Jennah is an outstanding coach and is the perfect fit to contribute to Akron’s recent surge in NCAA swimming performance. Jennah is a terrific asset to the Zips in part, because she offers a strong technical background coaching all events and strokes, but in addition to that she brings a coaching style that inspires high-level performance from athletes.”
“I couldn’t be happier or prouder of Jennah. She is a true student of the sport; learning in every opportunity that arises and relaying that knowledge to her athletes. Her passion for her athletes’ well-being and success is unmatched and makes her not only a great coach but an even better person. Jennah’s future as a collegiate swim coach is very bright and Akron is a lucky program to have her.”
“Jennah’s creative approach to training will help propel Akron even further in their quest to be in the top 20 at the NCAA Championships.’
“Even in her relatively short time with the Badger Aquatics Club, Jenna had a tremendous impact on our swimmers. Our swimmers made great strides when they were working with Jennah during her time with them. Her knowledge and love of swimming and of our swimmers made our practices fun, informational and challenging for everyone. All of BAC enjoyed having Jenna as part of our family and she is greatly missed.”
Swimming news courtesy of Akron Athletics.