Late yesterday afternoon, the University of Houston announced the appointment of Augie Busch as its swimming coach. Busch, the son of USA swimming national team director Frank Busch (a six-time NCAA Coach of the Year), replaces Mark Taylor, who died on March 18.
"I am beyond excited about the opportunity to lead this University of Houston team," says Busch. The UH job will be the first head coaching gig for the 35-year-old, who will be the school's fourth swim coach in its history.
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The Tucson, Arizona, native has spent most of his career as an assistant for numerous high school and college programs. Most recently, Busch coached for eight seasons at the University of Arizona, where he helped crank out three NCAA champions and 21 individual All-Americans. In 2008, under his assistantship, Arizona won the national championships in men's and women's swimming. He also tutored future Olympians Albert Subirats of Venezuela and Jake Tapp of Canada.
Busch's appointment ends the unavoidable quest to replace Taylor, who passed away in Austin from a heart attack two months ago. The 2009 Conference USA Coach of the Year held down the position for nine seasons, compiling the most wins in UH history.
"He was a passionate man, and his enthusiasm for the University of Houston and his student athletes was contagious to all those around him," said UH athletic director Mack Rhoades at the time of Taylor's passing.
As of the time this post was published, Conference USA and the University of Houston had not set the 2011-2012 schedule for the women's sport (UH doesn't have a men's program) that usually gets going each October.