Sergio Lopez Miro, who coached a legendary Bolles program from 2007 to the end of 2014, will become a new associate head coach at Auburn University starting this fall for the 2016-17 NCAA season.
Lopez has spent the past year and several months coaching Singapore Swimming as well as serving as an advisor at the Singapore Sports Institution, and will finish his tenure there after the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio in August. He’s worked closely with the likes of Bolles alumnus and current University of Texas star Joe Schooling, who won a bronze medal at the 2015 Kazan World Championships representing Singapore. Schooling also demolished NCAA and U.S. Open records in the 100 and 200 fly at the recent NCAA Championships, and is primed for a big meet in Rio.
In addition to coaching Schooling to big-time success, Lopez has also drawn in U.S. breaststroke stud Kevin Cordes— the Illinois native and University of Arizona grad moved to Singapore last May to train with Lopez for the Kazan World Championships as well as the upcoming Rio Olympic Games. Cordes won a gold medal as a part of USA’s 400 medley relay, a silver in the 200 breast, and a bronze in the 50 breast at the 2015 World Championships– his first major international meet since his move to train with Lopez.
Lopez has coached a large number of successful Bolles swimmers, but Ryan Murphy and Caeleb Dressel immediately come to mind, along with Schooling. All three swam for Bolles, and they all ended up tying for the CSCAA 2016 Swimmer of the Year Award after each swimmer had mind-boggling performances at the 2016 Men’s NCAA Championships.
Between Schooling, Dressel, Murphy, and Cordes, Lopez has strong coaching connections to four potential Olympic medalists in Rio. Add that to the fact that Dressel wasn’t even a part of the high school program (he attended nearby Clay High School), and the 4th member of that group is Santo Condorelli, who is the best Canadian sprinter since Brent Hayden. Upon his return to the NCAA next year after a redshirt season he will be an immediate title contender as well.
Lopez’s prior college experience includes being the head coach at West Virginia, where he led the team to the men’s Big East Championship in 2007, the first in program history. As an athlete, Lopez won a bronze medal at the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul in the 200 breaststroke, and trained at both Indiana University and American University.
Auburn is one of the nation’s great collegiate swimming powers after their women won five NCAA titles in six years from 2002 to 2007 and their men won eight titles between 1997 and 2009. The Auburn women have fallen sharply since their last title in 2007, however. Each year since then, they’ve followed this trend: 2nd, 6th, 8th, 8th, t-7th, 13th, 14th, 18th, and a crushing 33rd this season. Since 2009, their men have failed to crack the top 5, and were as low as 9th in 2015 and 10th this year.
The associate head coaching job at Auburn is one of the highest-paying assistant jobs in the country. It was vacated when its previous holder, John Hargis, left to become the head coach at Pitt.
Brett Hawke currently coaches the men’s and women’s programs, Lauren Hancock was brought on this season as associate head women’s coach, while Olympic gold medalist Tyler McGill and Venezuelan Olympian Ozzie Quevedo (both Auburn swim alumni) have been recent additions as assistant coaches.