Tulane Head Coach Steps Down for Texas HS Gig

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 1

August 16th, 2012 News

Tulane head women’s swimming & diving coach Lena Guariello has resigned her position in order to take a job in Texas, according to the University.

Guariello has served as the head coach for three seasons, and will always hold a spot in history for the Green Wave. She was an assistant during the 2005-2006 season when the team was relocated to College Station and Texas A&M University after Hurricane Katrina devastated the campus, and then was called upon again in 2009 to restart the program after a post-hurricane hiatus.

It was a difficult three years, after the program finished last in Conference USA last season, but it was arguably one of the most challenging coaching jobs outside of Clemson, South Carolina during that time.

Guariello has accepted the coaching job at Plano West High School, located in the huge Northeast Dallas suburb of Plano. The Plano school district has sort of a unique setup, in that 9th and 10th graders attend “High Schools” while 11th and 12th graders attend “Senior High Schools”. The freshmen and sophomores, however, compete with their respective feeder programs.

This leaves the schools with huge pools of athletic talent, with roughly 4,000 students to draw from.

The Plano area is rich with swimming talent, though of late most of it has been concentrated in the more successful Plano and Plano East Senior High Schools.

She will be replaced on an interim basis for the 2012-2013 season by former assistant TJ Natal. Natal is headed into his third season with the Green Wave, with all of his previous experience coming at the club and high school level. He is a Louisiana native.

This program, despite it’s 6th-place finish at the CUSA Championships, has some momentum behind it. They have a returning mid-major All-American in Kayla Alf-Huynh, a 22.9 second 50 freestyler, as well as the defending conference Newcomer of the Year (Kylie Kastes) and Freshman Diver of the Year (Sadie Eicher).

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I wish her good luck but Plano West is not a lateral career or step up job. West has been at the bottom of the district they are in and will be again this year. Hopefully she can energize the kids at Plano West and spark more interest.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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