May 5, 2011
TUCSON, Ariz. – New University of Arizona swimming and diving head coach Eric Hansen named Rick DeMont and Geoff Hanson as two of his swimming assistant coaches with other staff assignments still to be decided.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to add both Rick and Geoff to our staff,” said Hansen. “To be able to have two alums, who are each very well respected coaches in our sport, back at our land grant institution will keep our program among the best in the country.”
DeMont, Arizona’s associate head coach, has served on the coaching staff for the past 23 seasons mentoring his sprint freestyle group and guiding several successful international Olympians to the sport’s grandest stage. A 1999 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame inductee, DeMont swam at Arizona from 1977-78 earning eight All-America honors.
Long considered a world-renowned sprint freestyle coach, DeMont was one of the pioneers in “negative split” racing. He has served as an assistant coach for South Africa in three Olympics, helping the 2004 men’s 4x100 freestyle relay team claim a gold medal in Athens.
“I’m extremely happy to be able to continue to coach and do what I love to do at a place as special as Arizona,” said DeMont. “Having coached both Eric and Geoff during each of their swimming stints at Arizona, this change feels more like a homecoming than anything.”
Hanson, a former Arizona swimmer, returns to his alma mater after coaching for 11 seasons at Wisconsin with Eric Hansen. Swimming under former UA coach Frank Busch from 1993-96, Hanson was an All-American in the 1650 freestyle. He was a Pac-10 conference finalist in all four seasons at UA, won Pac-10 All-Academic praise and was a four-time Mary Roby Academic Achievement award recipient.
“I’m very excited to be back here now as an assistant coach at Arizona,” said Hanson. To be able to train these elite student-athletes and know what it means to wear these colors, I am extremely eager to continue our rich swimming tradition with Eric and Rick.”
Staying involved with the UA program after his swimming days were over, Hanson spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach and as an assistant senior coach for the club team, Hillenbrand Aquatics, now known as Tucson Ford Aquatics.
A distance freestyle and individual medley mentor, Hanson earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Arizona in 1998.
A swimming assistant coach and director of operations position are still to be determined.