Ota Named New Assistant Swim Coach
July 19, 2011
FRESNO, Calif. - With the excitement building for the opening of the brand new Fresno State Aquatics Center, Jeanne Fleck announced the hiring of Patrick Ota as the Dogs' new assistant swim coach.
Ota joins the Fresno State swimming coaching staff with two national titles coaching at Fresno Pacific and three Big West Conference 100m backstroke championships swimming for UCSB.
"Not only is Patrick a local, but he has experience in recruiting and starting programs," said head swimming & diving coach Jeanne Fleck. "He has great experience swimming and coaching sprinters. The community, California coaches, and both guys and girls love him. He will be a perfect fit for us."
Ota replaces Ryan Purdy, who returned to be an assistant swim coach for his alma mater, the University of Minnesota.
Ota has spent the last four seasons coaching at Fresno Pacific, since their program's inception in 2007. During his four year stint, Ota helped guide the Sunbirds to two NAIA National Men's Championships (2010, 2011) and two runner-up NAIA finishes (2009 Men, 2011 Women).
With the women's program, Ota worked closely with Cheyenne Coffman, a local swimmer, who was named the 2010 National NAIA Swimmer of the Year. He has experienced great success with both men and women in his coaching career, and even more in his own swimming career.
Ota swam all four of his collegiate swimming years at UC Santa Barbara. As a Gaucho, Ota competed in the 100m backstroke for UCSB's decorated head coach Gregg Wilson. He was a three time conference champion for the 100m backstroke and set a Big West Conference record of 48.18 in 2006. Ota helped the Gauchos win two conference championships (2004, 2006) during his four year collegiate career and was an NCAA qualifier in the 100m backstroke his senior year (2006).
Ota graduated from Immanuel High School in Reedley, Calif. and is a former competitive swimmer with Raisin Country Aquatics. At the end of his high school swimming career, he was a four time CIF champion and a six time high school All-American. Ota was also a five time national-qualifier for the 100m backstroke, with his highest finish at 16th in 2004.
"I'm really excited to get into Division 1 swimming," Ota said. "This will be my biggest challenge yet and I am looking forward to developing the Fresno State sprint swimmers."
With successful high school, club, and NAIA coaching under his belt, Ota will step up into coaching with a Division 1 program. Ota's first season with the Bulldogs will also mark the first season for all Bulldogs in the brand new Fresno State Aquatic Center.
The swimming & diving team will open their 2011-2012 campaign in October as the Dogs compete in their brand new Aquatics Center on campus.
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