Olympic Gold Medalist Rachel Komisarz-Baugh Named Head Coach at Ohio University

2004 Olympic gold medalist in the 800 free relay and silver medalist in the 400 free relay Rachel Komisarz-Baugh has been named as the head coach of the Ohio University women’s swimming team.

Komisarz-Baugh has spent the last 5 years as a top assistant for the Louisville Cardinals, and has been a part of that program’s rise to its most successful run in program history.

Komisarz says that her coaching philosophy is centered around personalization. “My philosophy is to give the athlete what they need personally. My workouts are structures for the individual and how I can best help them reach their full potential.”

Regarding her specific training, she says she uses “medium yardage with a lot of technique specific work. I don’t believe in doing a bunch of yardage if you’re not doing it right.”

“I am ecstatic about having Rachel lead the Ohio swimming and diving program,” Althetics Director Jim Schaus said in a statement. “She has a national reputation as a recruiter, trainer and coach. She is high energy, enthusiastic, articulate, visionary and has an insatiable drive to succeed. Rachel has played a key role in Louisville becoming a national power in swimming. When you have won a gold and silver Olympic medal, you understand the highest level of excellence and how to achieve it. Success has been her shadow, and I can’t wait to see our future under her leadership.”

One current Louisville swimmer described Komisarz as a very analytical style of coach, and said that Komisarz has a good balance between being tough and firm as a coach, but still understanding what it’s like to be a high level swimmer based on having been one relatively recently (she was on the World Championship team in 2007).

In addition to on-deck duties, Komisarz-Baugh has been Louisville’s primary recruiting coordinator since 2010.

She comes into an Ohio program that is in somewhat of an unstable position after 18-year head coach Greg Werner was fired mid-season following a reported meeting between members of the team and the Athletics Department. The Bobcats wound up placing 6th out of 8 teams at the 2014 MAC Championship meet. Ohio was the conference champions as recently as 2011, and have a long and proud history within the conference having won 7-straight team titles from 1989-1995.

Her athletic accomplishments are below. This is Komisarz-Baugh’s first head coaching job, and Louisville was her first coaching job – she retired from swimming officially in June of 2009.

Sport Achievements
2004 Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist
2007 World Championship Team member, Melbourne, Australia
2006 Pan Pacific Games- 2nd 100 fly, 1st 400 Medley relay
2006 Runner up National Champion 100 fly
2006 Short Course World Champs- 2nd 100 fly
2005 National Champion- 100 fly
2005 LC World Championships- 4th 100 fly, 2nd 400 medley relay, 1st 800 freestyle relay
2004 Olympic Trial Champion- 100 fly
2004 Olympic Games- 1st 800 free relay, 2nd 400 medley relay
2004 SC World Championships- 1st 800 free relay, 2nd 100 fly
2003 World Champion and American Record Holder
2002 SC World Championships
AMERICAN RECORD 400 medley relay
AMERICAN RECORD 800 free relay USA National Team
Five time World University medallist
Seven time NCAA All-American SEC Swimmer of the Year
1999, SEC Commissioners award
1999 Three time SEC Champion in 200 fly, 500 free, 1650 free

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7 years ago

I’m an Ohio alum (I didn’t swim for them but a couple of club teammates did) and am relieved to see the program moving forward with a good pick like Rachel Komisarz. Addy Ferguson, one of the team’s bright spots at MACs with wins in the 100 fly and back, will surely benefit from having an Olympic flyer on deck.

7 years ago

Rachel is a great inspiration to all swimmers, especially females. She is the main reason my daughter originally went to UofL. She is tough but knows her stuff. Congrats Rachel!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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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