LSU Hires Richard Salhause to Fill Vacant Role in Swimming Coaching Staff

LSU has announced the hiring of Richard Salhaus as its new assistant swimming & diving coach. He will fill the spot that has been vacant since former associate head coach Steve Mellor resigned at the beginning of the 2022-2023 season.

“We are excited to have Rich join the LSU Swimming staff,” Bishop said. “Rich’s experience working with Iowa and Army West Point as a great recruiter will enhance our global reach and help us to continue to draw the best student-athletes from around the globe to LSU. As a coach on deck, Rich worked with NCAA qualifiers at Iowa and conference finalists at Army. His breadth and depth of coaching from developmental Age Group coaching to NCAA & International level swimmers will add great strength to our coaching staff.”

Salhaus spent the last three seasons at Army-West Point, where he coached the middle distance and distance swimmers. Among those in his direct training group were Ian Tansil, who won the 1650 free at the 2022 Patriot League Championships in 14:57.60, breaking the school record by 10 seconds.

LSU is in a transition period – last season, Bishop, in his first year leading the Tigers, took Brooks Curry to NCAA titles in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles. He becomes the first double NCAA Champion in program history, and is the Tigers’ first event winner since 1988.

Prior to his season with the Black Knights, Salhaus was an assistant at the University of Iowa, where he served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. He was also a member of the varsity team at Iowa as an athlete.

Along with All-American diver Juan Hernandez, a senior, the Tigers placed 15th at the NCAA Championships. That was the team’s best placement since 1997.

The challenge for Bishop now will be rebuilding depth. The LSU men finished 9th at the SEC Championships out of 10 teams, and the women finished 8th out of 12 teams.

The LSU women scored some points in the mid-distance and distance freestyles that Salhaus specializes in at the SEC Championships, but the Tigers men didn’t score in either the 500 or 1650 freestyles.

LSU’s head diving coach Doug Shaffer retired at the end of last season, which means Bishop will have to find a replacement for what has been the most stable part of the program in recent seasons.

Before returning to his alma mater, Salhus helped the Iowa Flyers Swim Club achieve a number of accolades during his tenure. He coached three 2016 Olympic Trials qualifiers, including a fourth-place place finisher in the 200-fly and was named National Junior Team Coach in 2016-2017.

Before coaching, Salhus was a South African Junior National qualifier, winning numerous medals, including the gold in the 50-free and 50-fly. He was also a South African Junior Squad member and qualified for multiple South African Senior Nationals and Olympic Trials. He was a finalist in the 200-free and 50-fly and a gold medalist in the 400-free and 800-free relays.

Salhus competed for Jon Rudd under Plymouth Leander in the United Kingdom where he held various records in Devon County. He went on to win silver in the 17/18-year-old 50 free and bronze in the 800-free relay at the British Youth Championships and he also competed in the Great Britain Open Championships, where he was a finalist in the men’s 50-fly and semifinalist in men’s 50-free.

The Johannesburg, South Africa, native was a four-year Iowa letter winner, competing from 2007-11. He earned Big Ten Swimmer of the Week honors in 2008. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in health science with a minor in health and sports studies.

He and his wife, Mary, have two sons, Liam and Oliver.

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DP Spellman
8 months ago

Coach Richard’s last name does not have an “e” at the end of it. It is not spelled correctly in the headline.

Good guy. Great coach. Best of luck in your new role Coach down in the Bayou / Cajun country Richard!

8 months ago

Congratulations Rich. A fantastic coach that takes the time to care deeply about how swimmers in and out of the pool.

Tom Slear
8 months ago

Rich did excellent work at West Point. The article mentions Ian Tansill, who dropped his best time this year in the mile from 15:31.32 to 14:57.60 (which, by the way, did not break a conference record (14:52) but an Army record). However, a number of others did very well under Rich’s coaching; for example, freshman Wes Tate, who dropped his best times in the 500 from 4:30.99 to 4:21.69 and in the mile from 16:26.44 to 15:20.98. What’s more, Rich is a genuinely nice guy. LSU is lucky to get him.

Reply to  Tom Slear
8 months ago

So much agreed. Rich is an amazing add to LSU. Cares about college swimming, cares about people.

Ray Bosse
8 months ago

Good luck to Rich and his family. I will miss him at West Point.

8 months ago

Since 2022-2023?!?

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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