Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Rick DeMont -- Associate Head Coach
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: June 22, 2004
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Former Arizona standout Rick DeMont begins his 13th season as an assistant head coach for the Wildcats. A four-year collegiate All-American, DeMont, 44, swam at the University of Washington from 1973-75 and at Arizona from 1975-79. As a freshman at UW, he finished second in the 1,650 and fourth in the 400 IM at the NCAA Championships. In 1977, he was eighth in the 100 free and 200 IM and was the top individual scorer for his team. A two-year and eight-time All-America selection at UA, DeMont swam for the Wildcats from 1977-79.

DeMont is a former world record holder in the 1500-meter freestyle (1972), the 400-meter freestyle (1973) and the 4x100 free relay (1977). He has collected numerous titles, including National, Pan American, World and Olympic champion. Following his senior year in high school, he was named World Swimmer of the Year. DeMont also pioneered negative split swimming (swimming a faster second half of a race than the first).

At the 1972 Olympic Games, he was stripped of a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle when it was discovered he had unknowingly taken asthma medication containing the banned drug ephedrine. The next year, at the World Championships in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, DeMont erased all doubts of his greatness with an unprecedented performance. He set the record straight by swimming a world record in the 400 freestyle and, in the process, became the first man in history to swim that race in less than four minutes. To this day, he is still struggling to regain the medal from the International Olympic Committee. DeMont was rewarded for his athletic accomplishments in 1990, as he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

DeMont is considered as a world renowned sprint freestyle coach and recently completed his 12th season as an assistant coach in the Arizona swimming program. During his tenure with the UA program he has coached an amazing 17 USS and NCAA individual national champions, as well as numerous national champion relay squads. DeMont was recently inducted to the University of Arizona Athletic Hall of Fame on September 10, 1999, and he has also been the subject of numerous feature stories and up-and-coming swimming technique articles in numerous publications such as Swimming World, Swim Technique and Splash magazines.

DeMont is also an artist and has had his paintings shown in local and national galleries. Some of his work can be seen on the walls of several offices in Arizona's McKale Center. DeMont works with the Wildcat sprint swimmers. He has one daughter Angela, 15, who is following in his wake as a successful swimmer.

Margo Geer P12 WOTY