USC Associate Head Coach Peter Richardson Returning to Arizona

USC associate head coach Peter Richardson is returning to the University of Arizona to assume the same role under new head coach Ben Loorz following a two-year stint with the Trojans.

While in Los Angeles, Richardson recruited international talents such as Hungary’s Minna Abraham, who helped lead the USC women to 2nd place at the Pac-12 Championships and 8th at the NCAA Championships. The Trojan women also went undefeated in dual meet competition (9-0) last season for the first time in program history.

Richardson is Loorz’s first hire since the longtime UNLV coach took over last month for Augie Busch, who was fired in early May after seven seasons with the Wildcats in which the swim & dive teams largely struggled. Richardson spent three years coaching distance swimmers under Busch at Arizona from 2019-22.

“Coach Loorz does things the right way and we have always talked about teaming up. I could not be more excited to return to this special place,” Richardson said. “Arizona is one of only six men’s and seven women’s teams who have won an NCAA Team Championship since 2000 — this is a place we can win. Arizona has world-class facilities, world-class tradition, and we’re going to make sure to recruit and develop in that same fashion!”

Richardson joins a Wildcat staff that includes assistant coaches Amanda Beard, Roric Fink, and Chad Castillo along with head diving coach Dwight Dumais and assistant diving coach Daniel Pinto.

Richardson gained valuable international coaching experience last summer as the head men’s coach for the U.S. team at the 2023 World University Games in Chengdu, China.

Prior to his first stint at Arizona, Richardson served as head coach at his alma mater, University of the Pacific, for seven seasons. During his tenure, the Tigers broke 73 school records and become of just two programs in 2018 to hit an NCAA A-cut relay time without a full allotment of scholarships. As a swimmer at University of the Pacific, he secured Big West Championships as a team captain his junior and senior years.

Richardson began his coaching career as head coach at Fresno Pacific, where he guided the men to back-to-back NAIA national titles in 2010 and 2011. The Fresno Pacific women brought home another NAIA title in 2012.

USC head coach Lea Maurer now has an opening on her coaching staff, which features assistant coaches Meghan Hawthorne, Kevin Rapien, and Brooks Fail. Fail won a pair of Pac-12 titles in the 1650 free while swimming for Richardson at Arizona.

Once former Pac-12 rivals, next season will mark Arizona’s first in the Big 12 and USC’s first in the Big Ten. The Wildcat men placed 4th out of six teams at the 2024 Pac-12 Championships in February while the women placed 7th out of eight teams. Texas is leaving the Big 12 for the SEC next season, but the conference should still be competitive with the arrival of Arizona State.

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1 month ago

Underwhelming hire.

1 month ago

Interesting move. Hopefully they can spur some West Coast talent into Arizona. Wonder if Patrick Ota gets the nod at UNLV…he’s been successful under both of these coaches at Fresno Pacific and then UNLV.

Gulf Coach
1 month ago

Really good guy! Got to know him when he was the HC at UofP.

1 month ago

Interesting. Leaves when Augie is there, comes back when Augie is not. A coincidence?

1 month ago

Weird Loorz is keeping most of same staff as previous administration!?! Their resumes aren’t stellar at this point!

Reply to  Diehard
1 month ago

We’re pretty much starting out at ground zero here. Got to earn some respect back from many people.

Reply to  Diehard
1 month ago

There were a couple of interested and qualified coaches that alumni went to bat for that would’ve been great for the staff… and Loorz wouldn’t hear it

Reply to  Zona
1 month ago

Don’t know how much it affected things, but the university as a whole put on a hiring freeze with their disastrous financial situation. Probably was given some pressure to keep most of the staff because they don’t want new hires.

Shane Maximus
1 month ago

WC from TX to USC?

1 month ago

Great hire. Class act as a coach. He’ll do great.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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