Fleck Named Head Women's Swimming and Diving Coach
April 18, 2008
FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh reached into the Big Ten to hire a coach to resurrect the Bulldog women's swimming and diving program.
Boeh announced today the hiring of Jeanne Fleck, who for the last nine seasons served as the head women's swimming and diving coach at The Ohio State University to lead the Fresno State program back into competition. The women's swimming and diving program was previously discontinued after the 2003-04 academic year.
According to Boeh, Fleck's leadership as a head coach for 17 years at Ohio State and Northern Illinois and her work building a new state of the art facility were the deciding factors that impressed the search committee and campus community.
In her nine years at Ohio State, she worked to improve the academic and competitiveness of the Buckeye program on the conference and national levels. Ohio State recently hosted the NCAA championship meet at its new on-campus aquatic center.
In 2006-07, the Buckeyes finish 6-3 overall and placed eighth in the Big Ten Championships, while sending two swimmers to the 2007 NCAA Championships. Fleck also guided the team to a second place finish at the second annual Ohio State Invitational held at the Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
While at Ohio State, Fleck had a reputation as a coach that would get the most out of her swimmers in their lanes and in the classroom. Fleck coached the Buckeyes to 12 school records as well as 53 Academic All-Big Ten selections and 98 OSU Scholar-Athletes. The Buckeyes held the highest grade point average in the Big Ten in 2004 and were ranked ninth in the country fall quarter of 2003.
Fleck and former Buckeye swimmer Gulsah Gunenc made the trip to Athens, Greece for the 2004 Olympic Games. She qualified to represent her country of Turkey in two events: the 100- and 200-meter butterfly. Gunenc, a veteran to international competition, was joined by two more of Fleck's swimmers at the 2006 FINA Short Course World Championships, where each swimmer placed in the top 16 in their respective events. Gunenc and fellow Buckeye Griet Buelens extended their international resumés by competing at the European Championships.
Before taking over the Ohio State program prior to the 1999 season, Fleck was both the women and men's head coach at Northern Illinois for eight years. In her final season at NIU, Fleck was named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year after she led her teams to third- and fifth-place finishes, respectively.
While at NIU, her teams also set 18 school records and had four swimmers named the conference's swimmer of the year. She coached a 1998 Goodwill Games finalist, a Pan-American Games team member and a 1996 Olympic trials finalist.
In her final season at NIU, 20 swimmers finished the academic year with a 3.0 or higher GPA, including five student-athletes with a 3.50 or better. In 1997-98, 24 Huskie swimmers compiled a GPA of 3.00 or higher, including seven at 3.50 or better. Her 1996-97 women's team was named to the Top 10 Academic All-America Swimming Team honor roll by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) with a team GPA of 3.19. Fleck also served as the assistant director for Providing Athletes With Support (P.A.W.S), a student-athlete advisory group at NIU.
"I am so excited to become part of the Fresno State family and resume the swimming and diving program," said Fleck. "It is an honor to be named head swimming coach. This is a great day for me and for the sport of swimming to bring back a great program from the past and build it back up. I hope to take it higher than it has ever been. Fresno State has had great coaches in the past and I look forward to building on that. I am looking forward to and excited about becoming a part of the Fresno/Clovis community and working with swimmers in the San Joaquin Valley."
A 1987 graduate of Iowa State University, Fleck was a Big Eight champion and team captain her senior year. She earned a bachelor's degree in education.
After graduating from Iowa State, Fleck served as a volunteer assistant for her alma mater's men's team. In 1988, she was the head coach of the Des Moines Swim Federation. From 1988-91, she was the distance coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Wyoming.
Fleck will begin her duties at Fresno State July 1.