Louisiana State University will be hiring an intriguing name as its new assistant coach: 2008 Olympic runner-up and former world record-holder Milorad Cavic.
Cavic is perhaps best-known for his 100 fly duel with Michael Phelps at the Beijing Olympics. Cavic, a Serbian national, appeared to end Phelps’ quest for a perfect 8-for-8 Olympics in gold medals, leading the entire 100 butterfly final. But Phelps won in one of the sport’s most historic touchouts.
A year later, Cavic broke the world record in the 100 fly at the World Championships, eventually earning another silver medal in that race and winning the 50 fly. He’s a three-time Serbian Sportsman of the Year, and was also an NCAA standout for California.
Sources close to the program tell SwimSwam that Cavic will be announced as the program’s new assistant coach in the near future.
LSU is technically led by co-head coaches Dave Geyer (swimming) and Doug Schaffer (diving). Assistant Jeana Kempe was recently promoted from assistant coach to associate head coach after five seasons with the team. Steve Mellor is still on staff as an assistant coach, and Cavic will replace Bryon Tansel, who was hired away by Ohio State this offseason.
Update: Here’s the full press release from LSU:
Swimming Tabs Olympian and World Champion Cavic As Assistant Coach
BATON ROUGE- Olympian and World Champion Milorad “Milo” Cavic has been hired as the newest assistant head coach for the LSU swimming program, announced swimming head coach Dave Geyer on Tuesday.
“We are thrilled to add Milo to our staff. While going through the review and interview process, I was intrigued by his interest to get into college coaching,” said Geyer.
“After spending time with him on the phone and in person, I felt like this was the right hire for our program at this time and will bring a great level of elite experience to our deck as well as international connections through the swimming world. We are excited to welcome Milo, his wife, and his son to the Tiger family.”
“It’s a tremendous privilege for me to join LSU’s coaching staff and to be a part of one of the most storied sports cultures in the country,” said Cavic.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my experiences as a professional athlete, and I can’t wait to be a caretaker of one of the most powerful professions in the world.”
“LSU has the traits and the conditions to attract some of the most talented athletes out there, and with the existing coaching staff, I believe we have what it takes to shake up the SEC in the near future.”
As a part of the Partizan Swimming Club in Belgrade, Serbia, Cavic was responsible for designing and executing training sessions for a senior development group, as well as mentoring national level swimmers.
Cavic also served as a swimming consultant who organized and facilitated swimming clinics, focusing on teaching both athletes and coaches. Cavic was the founder and president of the Swimming School and Academy in Kragujevac, Serbia, where he oversaw, organized, and controlled operations.
Cavic was mentored by some of the top swimming minds in the country, including Southern California head coach David Salo, Michigan head coach Mike Bottom, as well as former U.C. Irvine head coach Brian Pajer.
During his stellar swimming career, Cavic competed in the Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London Olympic Games as a representative of Serbia. Cavic garnered silver in the 100 butterfly at the Beijing Games and broke the Olympic record in the event during the preliminary heat.
Cavic set two world records and won the 50-meter butterfly at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships in Rome.
During his time at U.C. Berkeley on the way to four NCAA relay championships, Cavic was a part of the 200 medley, 200 free and 400 free relay championship teams during his junior and freshmen seasons.
Cavic also set NCAA, U.S. Open and school records with the Golden Bears as part of the 200 and 400 free relay squads.
Along with his relay titles, Cavic collected All-America accolades in multiple events, including the 200 medley and free relays, the 400 medley and free relays, the 100 fly and the 50 free.
In the Pac-10 Conference Championships, Cavic helped to secure four relay titles as a member of the 400 medley and free squads, as well as the 200 free relay. Cavic also claimed the 100 free titles during his first two seasons, setting conference, school and meet records his sophomore year.
Cavic graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 2007, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in International Political Economics with a concentration in international business.
Cavic is married and has a son, Maksim.