USC Names Former Auburn Head Coach Brett Hawke as Volunteer Assistant

USC has announced the addition of former Auburn head coach Brett Hawke as the program’s new assistant coach.

Hawke, who was a two-time Australian Olympian and nine-time NCAA champion while swimming at Auburn, is known as a sprint specialist. He served as an assistant to David Marsh and Richard Quick during the team’s dynasty in the 2000s before being promoted to co-head coach alongside Quick for the 2008-2009 season.

He was named the CSCAA Division I Coach of the Year that season after the men’s team won the NCAA title and was later named the SEC Coach of the Year in 2012.

The Auburn women finished 16th at Hawke’s final NCAA Championship meet there in 2018, while the men’s team finished 12th with 98.5 points. After having finished in the top 10 in each of Hawke’s previous 8 seasons, the Auburn men placed 12th at the last two NCAA Championship meets. Their 98.5 points in 2018 were their fewest since the 1992 season, where Auburn finished 15th and scored 85 points.

While at Auburn, mostly during his time as an assistant, Hawke led arguably the best men’s sprint group in the world. That group included the current World Record holder in the men’s 50 and 100 free Cesar Cielo, as well as former World Record holder Fred Bousquet and Matt Targett through to SEC Champions Gideon Louw, Adam Brown, Marcelo Chierighini, and Zach Apple during Hawke’s time as head coach.

On the women’s side, during his tenure as head coach, he also worked with Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, who was once the fastest women ever in the 100 yard free.

The 2020-2021 season is USC’s first under new head coach Jeremy Kipp who was hired after longtime head coach Dave Salo resigned following last season.

USC for this season will return head diving coach Hongping Li and assistant coach Dave Salo from the prior staff. Kipp brought assistant coach Meghan Hawthorne with him from Northwestern, hired Kevin Rapier as a new member of the staff, and named Lea Maurer, the former Stanford women’s head coach, as his associate head coach.

Between Maurer, Hawke, and Rapier (Cleveland State, briefly), the staff now has 3 former Division I head coaches on it.

“The experience and knowledge that Brett brings to the Trojans is a remarkable asset,” Kipp said. “From his career as an elite swimmer to one of the world’s best coaches, Brett has seen and done it all and we are ecstatic that he is on the West Coast and lending his expertise to the Trojans.”

Hawke’s day job is as the Development Director of Swim Camps at swimming clinic producer Fitter & Faster, living in Los Angeles. Hawke also spent last season as an assistant coach with the LA Current of the International Swimming League.



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1 year ago

No bone to pick here. But I had nothing to do with swimming. I meet him a couple of times and he was always rude and full of himself.

1 year ago

Any insight from the Auburn swim community on Hawke’s impact on (1) recruiting particularly from Australia and (2) swimmer development once the recruited athletes are in school.
D1 schools have to recruit the best talent available. A number of Aussie/New Zealand athletes on USC Swimming and Water Polo teams now. But USC swim fans would like the Trojans to be involved in successfully landing elite US swimmers and avoid Salo’s tendency to over-rely on foreign athletes. Generally Salo (except for when Kipp was the recruiting point person when an assistant) would whiff on American elite athletes especially those from Southern California high schools who would go to other programs, then hope Salo could pull an international elite athlete out… Read more »

1 year ago

Bringing back the Gatorade challenge!

Corn Pop
1 year ago

Yes it who is he ? The Captain, the Professor or Gilligan ?

1 year ago

CONGRATS BRETT! I am so happy for him and for USC. I can also say that he was always very caring for my family, my well being as a coach and person and really deeply cared unconditionally for Auburn Swimming and Diving. Truly happy for him.

Reply to  Sergio Lopez Miro
1 year ago

Sergio, you’re the GOAT man! Hope you and the family are doing well.

1 year ago

Best wishes Coach Hawke

1 year ago

Atkinson – freestyle ? Do you mean breaststroke?

1 year ago


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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