UGA’s Laak Named To Brazil’s Coaching Staff

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia head diving coach Dan Laak has been chosen as an assistant coach for host country Brazil for the upcoming Olympic Games.

This will be Laak’s third appointment to the Olympics. He served on the United States coaching staff in 2008 and 2012.

Brazil’s diving team will include César Castro, who has served as Georgia’s volunteer assistant coach while training under Laak the past three seasons. Castro will be making his fourth straight appearance in the Games, this time in his home country.

“I’m honored to be part of the Brazilian Olympic coaching staff,” Laak said. “César has done so much for our diving team and he has worked extremely hard to get back to the Olympics. Representing Brazil in the Rio Games means so much to him, and I’m happy that I’ll get to be a part of that with him.”

Laak is a four-time SEC and a three-time NCAA Coach of the Year. He will begin his 30th season in Athens after the Rio Games.

Counting Laak and Castro, Georgia will be represented by 29 athletes and coaches in the Rio Games.

Gunnar Bentz, Chase Kalisz, Jay Litherland, Hali Flickinger, Melanie Margalis, Allison Schmitt, Olivia Smoliga and Amanda Weir will represent the United States in swimming, while head coach Jack Bauerle will serve as a men’s assistant on the U.S. staff. Finland’s Matias Koski and Canada’s Javier Acevedo, Brittany MacLean and Chantal Van Landeghem also qualified for the Games in swimming.

In track and field, Kibwe Johnson, Keturah Orji and Kendell Williams qualified for the United States, and they will be joined by Cejhae Greene (Antigua), Karl Saluri (Estonia), Maicel Uibo (Estonia), Jenny Dahlgren (Argentina), Shaunae Miller (Bahamas), Leontia Kallenou (Cyprus) and Levern Spencer (St. Lucia). Coach Petros Kyprianou will serve as an assistant coach for Estonia.

Bubba Watson will represent the United States in golf, while Brittany Rogers will suit up for Canada in gymnastics. Jarryd Wallace qualified for the United States track team in the Paralympics.

The Opening Ceremony for the Olympics is slated for Aug. 5. Swimming and gymnastics will begin Aug. 6, followed by diving on Aug. 7, golf on Aug. 11 and track and field on Aug. 12. Track and field at the Paralympics will start on Sept. 7.

Swimming news courtesy of Georgia Swimming & Diving.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently a coach at Loggerhead Aquatics …

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