UNLV hires Pieter Ritz as new swimming and diving assistant coach

The UNLV Swimming and Diving Program has announced the hiring of Peter Ritz as the new assistant coach. Ritz comes to the program from his alma mater Cleveland State, where he worked for three seasons.

He was an assistant coach and scouting coordinator in his first two seasons before being promoted to associate head coach last season.

While at Cleveland State, Ritz helped produce a Horizon League Athlete of the Year, 12 individual HL champions, four men’s tag team finalists, and a women’s tag team runner-up at the conference championships. The success of the program with his help extended to the classroom as well, as the Vikings had 13 student-athletes on HL Academic All-Star Teams.

“Coach Pieter comes from really similar programs to ours with swim teams that push their weight class and do it nationally and internationally,” Loorz said. “He is a values-driven coach, which makes him a great fit for our staff. We are delighted to welcome him to the Rebel family.

Prior to Cleveland State, he spent four seasons at Cincinnati (2015-2019) as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. This included the team’s first-ever men’s conference championship with back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019, topping the four-team American Athletic Conference before it was later reduced to just two programs. Additionally, UC has won 25 AAC individual and relay titles, an AAC Most Outstanding Swimmer award, two AAC Most Outstanding Swimmer honors, a pair of All-American First Team honors on the women’s side by Jacqueline Keire and her first men’s individual at the NCAA Championships. qualifier.

He also spent a season in Florida Gulf Coast as a volunteer assistant in 2014-15 in his hometown of Fort Myers. There he worked under current Florida State head coach Neal Studd as part of a conference championship team.

He began his coaching career in 2012, where he spent two seasons as a graduate assistant in the NCAA Division II Henderson State program.

A former student-athlete himself, Ritz was a four-year winner of the Cleveland State swim program, where he won the team leadership award as a senior and served on the student advisory board. -athletes for three years. He received his bachelor’s degree in communications in 2012, then earned his master’s degree in sports administration at Henderson State in 2014.

While the position is a step down in Cleveland State’s title from associate head coach to assistant, in many other ways it’s a step up the coaching ladder. At Cleveland State he was the only assistant swimming coach, while at UNLV he will be part of a larger 3-assistant team under head coach Ben Loorz.

UNLV also regularly qualifies swimmers for NCAA championship competition. The men’s team has scored NCAA Division I championship points in 18 different seasons and has qualified swimmers nearly every season for decades (2017 was the most recent exception). In 2022, the team sent a 400 freestyle relay, which finished the encounter in 24th place.

The women’s team hasn’t had quite the same level of success, but has qualified swimmers for NCAA championships as recently as 2018. UNLV women have scored at 8 NCAA championships times over the past 26 years and were European University Team Champion and four-time Hungarian Olympian Zsu Jakabos.

Ritz will fill the position previously held by Lauren Jordan, who left to become director of operations for Florida State’s swimming and diving program. There are a few ties to complete this story: in addition to teaming up with former Ritz boss Neal Studd, the program’s head coach, Jordan will also reunite with Steve Wood, who left UNLV the year last to become a Seminole assistant.

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