Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Hansen To Lead 2012 USA World Championship Team
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: October 10, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Oct. 10, 2012

TUCSON, Ariz. Arizona head coach Eric Hansen has been selected to lead the U.S. men’s swim team at the 2012 Short Course World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. The event will take place December 12-15.

“I’m honored by the opportunity and I look forward to being a part of such a great team,” Hansen said. “It’s exciting and I think anytime you can lead a U.S. team, it’s an honor but it’s also a responsibility and I embrace both.”

His appointment as head coach of the 2012 Short Course World Championship team adds to a long list of national and international honors for Hansen. Heavily involved in the U.S. National Team program, Hansen served as the head coach for the American team at the 2011 World University Games in Shenzhen, China. Other national team coaching experience on Hansen's resume includes serving as a head coach in 2006 for the World Short Course Championships in Shanghai, China, men's assistant for the Pan Pacific Championships in Victoria, British Columbia, the 2002 U.S. Head Coach at the Short Course Worlds in Moscow, Russia and head coach for the Pan American Games team in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Hansen is not the only one with Arizona ties representing the squad as sophomore Kevin Cordes, the reigning NCAA champion in the 100 breast and 200 medley relay, will swim for Hansen on the squad. In addition, former Olympian and Arizona alum Clark Burckle and his fellow teammate on Tucson Ford Dealer Aquatics, Matt Grevers, joins him on the team. Grevers is a six-time Olympic medalist.  

Meanwhile, on the women’s side, senior Ellyn Baumgardner and freshman Bonnie Brandon will participate in the event for the U.S. Women’s team.  The women’s team will be led by Chuck Batchelor of the Bluefish Swim Club.

The South African men’s team will be well represented by Wildcats with alum Darian Townsend and incoming freshman Michael Meyer. Meyer is set to enroll at the U of A at the end of the semester. Townsend swam for the South African squad in the 2012 Olympics.

“It will be a lot of fun to watch the student-athletes from our program compete,” Hansen added. “I really like this meet and it’s something that the U.S. is known for. We are definitely a great short course nation and it will be fun to take the momentum we gained from London and get back on the world stage again.”

Overall, 17 former Olympians will be on the U.S. teams, nine on the men’s side and eight on the women’s team.

Hansen’s assistant men’s coaches will be Tony Batis from Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (PASA), Josh White from Michigan, and Whitney Hite from the University of Wisconsin. Hite is a former assistant at Arizona.

On the women’s side, Bruce Marchionda from Western Kentucky, Rachel Stratton-Mills from Asphalt Green, and Bill Rose from Mission Viejo have earned the honors.

The event in Istanbul will be the 11th FINA Short Course World Championships, an event which has been held every two years since the inaugural Championships in Palma de Mallorca, Spain in 1993. The event in Istanbul will take place at the Sinan Erdem Dome, which is a multi-purpose indoor arena that is located on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.

The Wildcats had plenty of success in Hansen's first season at the helm of the program. The men's team earned a fourth place team finish at the NCAA Championship, while earning five individual national titles. The team of Adam Small, Mitchell Friedemann, Kevin Cordes and Giles Smith won the NCAA title in the 200 medley relay, while Austen Thompson (400 IM), Cordes (100 breast), Cory Chitwood (200 back), Ben Grado (platform diving) each earned NCAA Championships as well. His team garnered two American Records during the championship (Kevin Cordes in the 100 breast stroke and the 200 Medley Relay). Meanwhile, the women's team earned a fifth place showing at the NCAA Championships. In total, the Wildcats had 26 individuals earn All-American honors.

Hansen and the Wildcats will open their season on Friday, October 19 when they host Hawaii in a multi-day dual meet at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.

For continued coverage of Arizona swimming & diving, visit and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaSwimming.

USA Swimming Coaching Staff

Head Men’s Coach: Eric Hansen

Head Women’s Coach: Chuck Batchelor

Assistant Men’s Coaches: Tony Batis, Whitney Hite, Josh White

Assistant Women’s Coaches: Bruce Marchionda, Rachel Stratton-Mills, Bill Rose

Head Physician: Jim Johnson

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