John Hargis Tabs Buffalo Asst. Michael Camper for Pitt Coaching Staff

The Pittsburgh swimming & diving team has added Michael Camper as an assistant coach for the upcoming season. In addition to his role as an assistant, Camper has been named the director of international recruiting.

Pitt, especially on their women’s team, has had recent success with international roster members. Kinga Cichowska (Poland) and Lina Rathsack (Germany) led the women’s team in breaststroke last year, with Ransack, a UNLV transfer, setting new Pitt records in both the 100 and 200 breast while scoring in the NCAA B final in the 100. Meanwhile, rising sophomore Valerie Daigneault (Canada) was their top backstroker last season. For the men, Eben Vorster (South Africa) and Henrique Machado (Brazil) each put up at least one #1 time for Pitt during the 2016-17 season, while Samy Helmbacher is one of France’s top IMers. Notably, two very strong Hungarian recruits will be joining the men’s team in the fall.

Camper spent last season coaching as an assistant at the University at Buffalo, which recently had its men’s program cut. He’s also a former NC State swimmer (class of 2015), where his collegiate career was highlighted by a then-school record in the 100 back in 2013, the year that he also led off the 400 medley relay that earned All-American honorable mention status at NCAAs.

Pitt recently named Katie Hazelton as the new head diving coach, another staff addition this summer. They head into the 2017-18 season this fall, which will be head coach John Hargis‘s second season with Pitt.


PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh swimming & diving program has added a former All-America and All-ACC swimmer to its coaching staff with the hire of Michael Camper as assistant coach and director of international recruiting, Pitt program head coach John Hargis announced Tuesday.

Camper comes to Pitt after spending the 2016-17 season with the University at Buffalo as an assistant coach, helping the Bulls place third in the Mid-American Conference in both the men’s and women’s meets while sending swimmer Megan Burns to the NCAA Championships in three freestyle events.

“I am extremely excited to accept a position at Pitt and begin coaching with the young, enthusiastic staff that Coach Hargis has assembled,” Camper said. “I can’t thank Coach Hargis enough for this opportunity. This program has tremendous potential. I’m looking forward to working with our student-athletes with the goal of building Pitt swimming & diving into an elite program in the ACC.”

“We’re thrilled to add Michael to our staff,” Hargis said. “During his time as a student-athlete, he competed for championships and witnessed firsthand what it takes to succeed at the highest levels of college swimming. Michael has a bright future in coaching and incredible potential as a recruiter. His energy and passion for the sport will be great assets for our program.”

A former three-time captain at NC State, Camper was one of the leaders of the Wolfpack teams that steadily transformed NC State swimming & diving into one of the nation’s premier programs.

The Wolfpack men’s team had finished eighth in the ACC in 2011 when Camper arrived on campus before the program subsequently started to rise. NC State finished fifth at ACCs during Camper’s freshman (2012) and sophomore (2013) seasons then vaulted to second place in the conference in 2014 before the Wolfpack men won the ACC title in 2015, Camper’s senior year.

Camper excelled at NC State in backstroke, individual medley and freestyle events. He scored at the ACC Championships in each of those strokes and reached an A Final in the 400 IM to earn All-ACC honors as an individual. He also garnered All-ACC and All-America honors with the Wolfpack 400 medley relay team in 2013, swimming the backstroke leg as NC State claimed second at ACCs and scored at the NCAA Championships in the event.

Following his fantastic collegiate swimming career with the Wolfpack, Camper debuted in coaching with several club programs after graduating from NC State in 2015.

He was most notably the head site coach at Massad YMCA and an assistant coach for Rappahannock Area YMCA Stingrays-Rays in his hometown of Fredericksburg, Va.

He also served as head coach for the Olive Chapel Otters and Weatherstone Sharks swimming programs.

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Pat Bui Gawd
5 years ago

This is a win for Pitt. Had the opportunity to meet Mike while he swam at NCSU. This kid is a champion and has taken all the right avenues to get where he has arrived to. He is in this to learn and grow. I will not be surprised to see Camper be leading a big time program one day! Congrats Mike, Congrats Pitt!

5 years ago

Coach Hargis has done a fantastic job with his hires and dipping into the international field. He understands Pitt can be a contender, but they can’t compete with the top ACC programs domestically right now. They’re still the little fish in the big pond. The international swimmers will bring immediate credibility and points on the board! Hail to Pitt!

Steve Thompson
5 years ago

Congratulations Campfire. You are a winner. Good luck.

Ex quaker
5 years ago

Pitt is seriously beefing up their coaching staff (but I may be biased- they swiped my former sprint coach from my alma mater).

5 years ago

Welcome Coach Camper! Another great hire by John Hargis. Hail to Pitt!

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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