May 18, 2011
University of Houston Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades has named Augie Busch, nationally recognized former University of Arizona assistant coach, as the program's head swimming coach. Busch becomes the school's fourth head coach and replaces the late Mark Taylor who passed away in March.
"I am thrilled to announce Augie's hiring," said Rhoades. "One thing became very apparent early on in this process with Augie. He cares about his student-athletes. The number of highly decorated swimmers who spoke out about Augie was astounding. Not only was it clear he made them better swimmers, but he had a major impact on their growth as people and citizens of their community.
"Augie is a man of great integrity and has been coaching at the highest level," Rhoades added. "He has a very good understanding of what it will take to get the Houston program to the next level. Augie has been around national champions and All-Americans, but at the same time he has found under-developed talent and created that success you see at the NCAA Championships."
Busch recently completed his eighth year at the University of Arizona where he helped lead the Wildcat men's and women's teams to 15 Top-5 NCAA finishes in seven years, including the sweep of the 2008 national championships. He also aided the women's squad to three consecutive Pac-10 Championships from 2006-08.
"I am beyond excited about the opportunity to lead this University of Houston team," said Busch. "The leadership provided by Mack Rhoades has truly impressed me; he has created a culture of excellence within Houston athletics. I see this as a place with a great amount of potential for success. I look forward to my growth as a head coach and being the driving force in leading UH into the future.
"Houston is a program with a first-class facility and an established nationally ranked diving program with Jane (Figueiredo)," said Busch. "With those key ingredients already in place, I know we can build on that and become a program that great swimmers want to be associated with."
During his time at UA, he worked primarily with the backstroke and individual medley swimmers while also serving as the program's recruiting coordinator. On the pool deck, Busch earned a reputation for his sophisticated knowledge of swimmers' techniques. In his eight seasons at Arizona, Busch's training group produced three NCAA champions, 21 individual All-Americans and swimmers on 10 national champion relay teams.
While with the Wildcats, Busch was instrumental in the success of two Olympians in Albert Subirats of Venezuela and Jake Tapp of Canada. Subirats is one of the most decorated swimmers in UA history with six national titles and 20 All-America accolades. Busch served as an assistant coach for the Venezuelan Olympic team in 2008 as well as for the 2007 Pan American Games.
On the women's side at Arizona, Busch worked directly with 2010 NCAA Woman of the Year and 2010 Rhodes Scholar Justine Schluntz. Schluntz ended her career at Arizona as a 16-time All-American and two-time national champion. From 2006-10, he tutored Ana Agy to 13 All-America honors and a pair of NCAA titles.
Busch went to Arizona after a two-year stint as assistant women's swimming coach at the University of Arkansas. In 2003, his final season in Fayetteville, Busch helped guide the Lady Razorbacks to school records in 15-of-18 events and a 31st-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
Prior to his tenure at Arkansas, Busch served as the head swimming coach at Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson from 1999-2000. He began his coaching career in 1996 as an assistant coach for the Hillenbrand Aquatics club team, now known as Ford Aquatics. Busch was also a volunteer assistant with the UA program from 1998-2001, and he was head coach of a high-profile summer league program, Sabino Vista Hills, during those same years.
Busch began his collegiate studies at The Ohio State University, where he was a two-year letter winner on the men's volleyball team. In 1996, he returned to Tucson and completed his degree at Arizona.
A native of Tucson, Busch was an all-state swimmer and volleyball player at Salpointe Catholic, where he also played basketball. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from The University of Arizona in December 1998. He minored in Spanish, a language he speaks fluently.
Busch is the son of current USA Swimming National Team Director Frank Busch, who was a six-time NCAA Coach of the Year.
THE BUSCH FILE
Birthdate: March 25, 1976
Hometown: Tucson, Ariz.
Alma Mater: Arizona, 1998; B.A. psychology
Athletic Experience: Ohio State University, volleyball (1994-96)
2003-present -- University of Arizona (assistant coach)
2001-03 -- University of Arkansas (assistant coach)
1999-2000 -- Salpointe Catholic High School (head coach)
2008 Olympic Games -- Venezuelan coaching staff
2007 Pan American Games -- Venezuelan coaching staff
2011 / Arizona -- Men (3rd); Women (4th) NCAA Champion: (M) Cory Chitwood, 200 back 2010 / Arizona -- Men (4th); Women (5th) 2009 / Arizona -- Men (6th); Women (3rd) NCAA Champions: (W) Justine Schluntz, 200 free relay, 400 medley relay; Ana Agy, 400 medley relay 2008 / Arizona -- Men (1st); Women (1st) NCAA Champions: (M) Albert Subirats, 100 fly, 400 free relay, 400 medley relay; (W) Hailey Degolia 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay; Ana Agy 400 medley relay; Leone Vorster 800 free relay 2007 / Arizona -- Men (3rd); Women (2nd) NCAA Champions: (M) Albert Subirats, 100 Fly, 100 Back; (W) Hailey Degolia, 200 medley relay 2006 / Arizona -- Men (2nd); Women (3rd) NCAA Champions: (M) Albert Subirats, 400 Free Relay; Nick Thoman, 400 Medley Relay 2005 / Arizona -- Men (3rd); Women (3rd) 2004 / Arizona -- Men (4th); Women (3rd) 2003 / Arkansas -- Women (31st)
What They're Saying About Augie Busch
"Augie possesses a superb technical knowledge of swimming that rivals that of any Division I coach. However, it is his ability to mold young people into well-rounded student-athletes that truly set him apart. Thanks to Augie's vision, patience, and innovative coaching, I went from an unheralded recruit to a relay national champion in three years at Arizona."
Justine Schluntz, 2010 NCAA Woman of the Year, 2010 Rhoades Scholar, University of Arizona
"Augie is a man of pure passion. He has a zest for life, and his attitude contributes to an environment for success. His passion and drive for continual progress is his best motivational tool. As an athlete, I always wanted to position myself around Augie because to him everything and anything was (and is) possible."
Lacey Nymyer-John, 2008 NCAA Woman of the Year, 2008 U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist, University of Arizona
"If it were not for Augie's efforts and his ability to recognize "green" talent, I would have never received the opportunity to swim for such a prestigious program. I came to Arizona as an unrecognized, and a non-recruited athlete with minimal swimming accolades and graduated from U of A as a Pac-10 and NCAA Champion. I can say with complete confidence that I would have not achieved the same level of success under any other coach."
Ana Agy, 13-time NCAA All-American, NCAA Champion, University of Arizona
"I had the great fortune of working with Augie, my son, for the last eight years and I can honestly say without him our program would not have accomplished what we did. His real strength is how well he relates to his athletes, which is more important now than ever. He is an honest coach and presents himself in a way that conveys what it takes to be successful. He has such passion and his athletes know he is willing to dedicate himself to achieve their goals. Augie understands head coaching from many different perspectives and has been exposed to the complexity of being an advocate outside of the pool -- developing the connections with your alumni and gaining support for your sport."
Frank Busch, USA Swimming National Team Director, Six-Time NCAA Coach of the Year