Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Frank Busch Biography
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: June 22, 2004
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Frank Busch experienced coaching for the first time at age 16 when he substituted for a missing coach at his parents' swim club in Edgewood, Ky. That day Busch learned "how influential you are out on the deck, as a coach." The influence that Busch experienced early in life has followed him to Arizona. Since taking command of the Wildcat program in 1989, Busch has transformed Arizona swimming into one of the nation's most powerful programs. The women's team has consistently finished in the top-five at the NCAA Championships during the Frank Busch era. Twice the women have been runners-up for the national title (1998 and 2000). The women won the Pac-10 title for the first time in 2000, and were runners-up at the 2001 Pac-10 Championships. He has been named Pac-10 Women's Coach of the Year three times (1991, 1998 and 2000). Busch has led the men's team in a climb through the national rankings, from seventh to fourth and then an all-time high third-place finish at the 2000 NCAA Championships. Busch was named the 1993 NCAA Division I Men's Coach of the Year after his team finished fourth at NCAAs. In 1993 and 2000 Busch was named Pac-10 Men's Coach of the Year. In addition to collegiate honors, Busch received the highest recognition of United States Swimming in 1998 when he was named USA Swimming Coach of the Year. The governing body which oversees all of the U.S. Olympic Teams, the USOC, also bestowed their highest annual honor upon Busch as he was selected the 1998 USOC National Coach of the Year. These honors followed a national championship season for Busch's club affiliate, Hillenbrand Aquatics. Named the 2000 Women's Pac-10 Coach of the Year, his squad earned two individual NCAA titles, 12 All-America honors and broke eight school records. Three years in a row Coach Busch and his squad won two individual national titles at NCAAs (2000, 2001 and 2002). In all, he has produced 59 school records, 87 individual All-Americans and 12 NCAA champions (18 titles) on the women's side and 60 school records, 92 All-Americans and 11 NCAA champions (16 titles) on the men's side. In 2002, the woman's team finished fifth at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas with 291 points. The team also garnered two individual titles. Senior Sarah Tolar captured the 200y freestyle for the second year in a row with time of (1:44.66). Also, the 800y freestyle relay quartet of Emily Mason, Jenny Vanker, Jessica Hayes and Sarah Tolar won the race in 7:05.10, also a new Arizona school record. The 2001 season brought home two individual NCAA champions for the Wildcats. Senior Sarah Tolar captured the 200y freestyle (1:45.21) and Amanda Beard won the 200y breaststroke (2:09.09). As a team Arizona finished fifth with 304 total points. 2002 brought yet another stellar year for the Cats' men's team as they finished seventh at the NCAA Championships by scoring 242 points. Senior Roland Schoeman was victorious in the 50y freestyle (19.08). In the 100y freestyle, Schoeman placed third (42.80) while Junior Eric la Fleur placed fifth (43.51). The 200 freestyle relay squad of Roland Schoeman, Eric la Fleur, Tyler Johnson and Byron Jeffers set an Arizona school record when they touched the wall in 1:16.99, good for third place overall. In 2001, the Arizona men's team scored 251 points at NCAA championships, placing sixth. Junior Roland Schoeman placed second in the 100y freestyle, touching the wall at 42.58. Schoeman also placed third in two events, the 50y freestyle (19.29) and the 100y butterfly (46.53). In the preliminaries of the 50y freestyle Schoeman touched the wall at 19.28, his personal best for the season along with the team's top time in 2001. After all was said and done in 2002, both the men's and women's squads produced 19 first-team All-Americans, 16 honorable mention All-Americans, established eight new school records and won three NCAA individual championships. In 1992 Busch witnessed a school first, as Ashley Tappin became the first Arizona woman to win two NCAA titles, the 50 and 200 free, in the same meet. Tappin was also the first Arizona woman since Crissy Ahmann-Leighton to win a Pac-10 and a NCAA Championship in the same year. Busch, now in his 32nd year of coaching, came to Arizona from the University of Cincinnati, where he was head coach from 1980-89. He was twice honored as Metro Conference Women's Coach of the Year. The Bearcat men broke into the Top-20, and the women finished as high as 13th at the NCAA Championships. He began his U.S. Swimming coaching career as head coach of the Northern Kentucky Piranhas age group and senior programs from 1974-78 and was an assistant coach for the Cincinnati Pepsi Marlins from 1979-80, where he coached current Arizona assistant coach Greg Rhodenbaugh. The Marlins placed six swimmers on the 1980 Olympic team and broke three world records. Busch truly believes in the concept of the "student-athlete" and stresses work in the classroom as well as in the pool. Each year since his arrival, his swimmers on both the men's and women's teams have earned Pac-10 all-academic recognition. His teams' grade-point average is consistently among the best in the athletic department. In 1991, Steve Herron, an All-American distance swimmer, was a Rhodes Scholar candidate. At Cincinnati, his teams' grade-point average for eight years exceeded 3.0. Busch earned his degree from Loyola (Ill.) University in 1973, where he competed in both swimming and water polo. In addition to his duties as head coach, Busch works closely with the distance freestyle and 400 IM swimmers. He and his wife, Patty, have five children: Frank (27), a UA graduate and practicing attorney in Phoenix; Augie (26), a 1998 Arizona graduate and assistant coach with the University of Arkansas women's swim team; Peter (23), an Arizona graduate; Molly (21), an Arizona senior; and Sam (19), a high school senior.

Busch's Awards

2000 Pac-10 Men's Coach of the Year 2000 Pac-10 Women's Coach of the Year 1998 USA Swimming Coach of the Year 1998 US Olympic Committee National Coach of the Year 1998 World Championships Coach 1998 Pac-10 Women's Coach of the Year 1997 Pan-Pacific Games Head Coach 1993 NCAA Coach of the Year 1993 Pac-10 Men's Coach of the Year 1991 Pac-10 Women's Coach of the Year

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