OUAZ Director of Athletics Kevin Steele announced the hiring of Darian Townsend as the new head coach of the OUAZ men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs Sept. 1.
Townsend will guide the Spirit into its first seasons of competition after working as an assistant last year. Townsend brings high-level experience as both a coach and a competitor to his new position.
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome Darian to our OUAZ coaching family,” Steele stated in a news release. “His prowess as an Olympic gold medalist swimmer is known the world over, but what many are just learning is that the work ethic and talent that it took to become a gold medalist is the same talent and work ethic he brings to the deck daily as a coach.”
The Olympic gold-medalist also competed at top NCAA programs Florida and Arizona. Townsend represented South Africa in three Olympics, and won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in the 4x100 freestyle relay.
After becoming a U.S. citizen in 2014, Townsend won five medals, including two golds in relays, at the 2014 Short-Course World Championships. Townsend is a 2010 graduate from the University of Arizona.
“I am thrilled to be part of the OUAZ family and cannot wait to showcase our swim team to the nation,” Townsend said. “I look forward to many years of success representing OUAZ and everything that it stands for.”