Eric Hansen, an Arizona alum and former assistant, enters his third season as the head coach of the Arizona swimming and diving program.
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 2 American Records during the championship (Kevin Cordes in the 100 breast 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.
Three Arizona swimmers (Matt Grevers, Alyssa Anderson and Clark Burckle)also swam in the London Olympic Games, earning three total medals (3 gold and 1 silver). And, UA/Ford Aquatics sent 54 total swimmers to the U.S. Olympic Trials in Lincoln, NB - the largest team at the event.
Not only did the Arizona athletes succeed in competition, but they also finished strong in the classroom as 25 total athletes landed on the Pac-12 All-Academic Teams.
Hansen returned to Tucson after serving as the head coach at the University of Wisconsin for 12 seasons. During his time in Madison, Hansen transformed the program into a perennial contender with his women's team finishing among the top-20 on 10 separate occasions at the NCAA Championships including an 11th place finish and UW's first individual national champion at this year's championships in Austin, Texas. Hansen revitalized the men's program during his time at Wisconsin including a top-12 finish at NCAA's.
Hansen's coaching can be measured on a national scale with 56 of his student-athletes (36 women, 20 men) earning a total of 289 All-America citations during his tenure at UW. On the international scene, while at Wisconsin, Hansen coached two Olympic athletes in gold medalist Carly Piper and Adam Mania.
In 2006, Hansen led the Wisconsin women's team to its highest-ever finish at the NCAA Championships with a ninth-place showing. One year earlier, he helped swimmers Piper and Tim Liebhold to a pair of national titles with Piper winning the 400-meter freestyle at World Championship Trials and Liebhold capturing the 200-meter I.M. at the U.S. Championships
Guiding Piper to a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team in 2004 for the games in Athens, Greece, she went on to earn a gold medal as part of the 800-meter freestyle relay team that broke a 17 year-old record in the event.
During the 2002-03 season, he guided the Badger women's team to a second-place finish at the Big Ten Championships and was named as the conference's Coach of the Year.
Hansen served as an assistant under Frank Busch at UA previously from 1996-99 and coached six national champions, 11 All-Americans and numerous Pac-10 champions during his time in Tucson.
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, as a men's assistant for the Pan Pacific Championships in Victoria, British Columbia,the 2002 U.S. Head Coach, Short Course Worlds in Moscow, Russia and Head Coach for the Pan American Games team in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
A native of Sioux City, Iowa, Hansen served as the head coach of the Phoenix Swim Club from 1992-95, coaching two world record holders, four American record holders and five members of the U.S. national team.
A member of the U.S. National Team from 1987 to 1992, Hansen captained the U.S. team at the 1991 World University Games. Swimming for then-Hillenbrand Aquatics (now Ford Aquatics), he won a national championship in the 100 backstroke in 1990.
Collegiately, Hansen was a six-time All-American at Iowa State and was named Big 8 Conference swimmer of the year in 1987 and 1988. Additionally, he was Iowa State's athlete of the year in 1988.
Hansen graduated from Iowa State in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in exercise science and received a master's degree in exercise physiology from Arizona in 1990.
Eric Hansen Career Highlights
--12-year head coach at Wisconsin leading the program to its highest finish
--3-year assistant at Arizona under Frank Busch from 1996-1999
--Swam for Hillenbrand Aquatics, winning a national championship in 1990
--Served as the 2011 World University Games head coach for Team USA in Shenzhen, China
--2002 Short Course World Championships head coach, Moscow, Russia
--2003 Pan American Games head coach, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
--2006 World Short Course Championships head coach
--2006 Pan Pacific men's team assistant coach
--Six-time All-American while swimming collegiately at Iowa State