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Coaching Staff

Head Coach - David Marsh

David Marsh, a top-level coach of elite swimmers for over 30 years who guided the 2016 U.S. Women's Olympic Team to 16 medals, was named the new head coach of the University of California San Diego men's and women's swimming and diving programs on June 27, 2017.

Marsh heads cross country to La Jolla from Charlotte, N.C., where he spent the past 10 years as the CEO and Director of Coaching of SwimMAC Carolina. Within that structure, Marsh established and coached Team Elite, which includes SwimMAC's impressive list of professional swimmers. SwimMAC generated 14 Olympians for the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Games during Marsh's tenure, with that group compiling 11 gold, two silver and one bronze medal. All told, 38 USA Swimming national champions and 27 junior national champions came from SwimMAC the last decade.

Marsh led the women of Team USA to unprecedented success at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with a final medal haul of eight gold, four silver and four bronze. That contingent featured the likes of Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Maya DiRado and Lilly King. Team Elite placed more U.S. Olympians than any program in the country, six, with Kathleen Baker, co-captain Anthony Ervin, Jimmy Feigen, Ryan Lochte and Katie Meili all earning gold medals.

"I'm thrilled to join the UC San Diego family," said Marsh. "UC San Diego is an amazing academic institution with a rapidly-developing athletic program, an amazing aquatic facility and an unparalleled location, which tells me there's incredible potential.

"The swimming and diving teams have an outstanding history and the sport has a strong presence throughout the San Diego community. In meeting and talking with Director of Athletics Earl Edwards, members of the coaching staff and many of the current team members, I was struck by the pride and commitment. This is a department and university that is building momentum, and I look forward to contributing to the next steps of what I see as a bright future."

"Whenever you have the opportunity to add a coach of David Marsh's stature, you look at it seriously," added Edwards. "In David, we are getting a coach with a stellar record of success, who understands and embraces the culture of our program and the University.

"I feel he will bring with him a combination of experience, energy and creativity, that has the potential to help elevate not only the swimming and diving teams, but our entire program. We have an outstanding coaching staff in place at UC San Diego, and David Marsh will certainly fit in well."

Prior to his time in Charlotte, Marsh was the head coach of the men's and women's swimming and diving teams at Auburn University from 1990-2007. He led the Tiger men to seven national titles, including five straight from 2003-07, and the women to five. Those five all came within a six-year span between 2002-07, with a runner-up showing in 2005. The men were also national runners-up three times under Marsh.

Additionally, Marsh's Auburn Tigers combined for 17 Southeastern Conference (SEC) crowns, highlighted by 11 consecutive men's championships from 1997-2007. He was a nine-time national and 13-time SEC Coach of the Year. Marsh coached countless All-Americans, 10 Academic All-Americans, and 49 Olympic athletes from 19 different countries.

For USA Swimming prior to 2016, Marsh was an assistant coach on the 2000, 2008 and 2012 Olympic staffs, and involved in numerous other competitions around the globe. He was named USA Swimming's developmental Coach of the Year in 2013 and 2014 for his work with SwimMAC.

Marsh swam at Auburn from 1978-81 and graduated in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in business administration. His wife, Kristin, swam at California and is also an accomplished sports educator, most recently as head coach at Pine Lake Preparatory. Of their three children, Aaron will be a junior at Charlotte's Queens University, Alyssa a sophomore swimmer at Duke, and Maddie a high school junior.


David Durden - Men's Swimming Head Coach, California
"I've known David for 17 years and he's a key figure in who I am as a coach. David is unique in his ability to make swimmers and coaches around him better. He's a very special person and he's going to be a huge asset to UCSD. There's also no doubt, he's going to have a positive impact on swimming in California."

Cullen Jones - Team Elite, Two-Time Olympian and Olympic Gold Medalist
"David is an excellent coach, and I enjoyed swimming with him. I believe he has a unique ability to understand and develop collegiate swimmers, and he's going to thrive at UC Dan Diego."

Greg Meehan - Paul A. Violich Director of Women's Swimming, Stanford
"David is a great coach and will have an immediate impact on current UCSD swimmers and the San Diego region. I'm super excited to have another coach of David's caliber on the West Coast."

Diving Coach - Rafaella Suarez

Former Ecuador national team diver Rafaella Suarez began her appointment as the head diving coach at the University of California San Diego on Sept. 18, 2017. The 2017-18 season is her first on the Canyonview Aquatic Center deck.

In addition to her duties at UC San Diego, Suarez is also currently an assistant coach with Aztec Divers San Diego, mentoring pupils of ages 11-18 with skill levels of beginner to collegiate from recruitment, to dryland routines, to dive development. From 2015-17, she was an assistant with Crown Valley Divers in Laguna Niguel.

As a competitor for Ecuador, Suarez participated in events such as the XVII Bolivarian Games Trujillo 2013 in Lima, Peru, on the one-meter springboard, and the IX South American Games (ODESUR Games) in 2010 in Medellin, Colombia, winning the bronze medal in 10-meter platform synchronized.

Collegiately at San Diego State, Suarez was a part of two Mountain West Conference (MW) team titles (2011, 2013), one runner-up effort (2012) and one third-place showing (2010) over her four years with the Aztecs. She placed fourth in platform diving and eighth in the three-meter springboard event as a junior at the 2012 MW Championships. As a sophomore, Suarez was fifth on the platform. She was thus a three-time All-Mountain West honoree for her career.

Suarez is a 2013 graduate of San Diego State University with a bachelor's degree in studio arts. She completed Claremont Graduate University's Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program in 2017. Suarez previously attended Claremont High School.

Assistant Coach - Marko Djordjevic

Marko Djordjevic is in his fourth season as the top assistant coach of the University of California San Diego men's and women's swimming and diving programs in 2017-18, after being named to the post in July of 2014. He aided the Tritons in a volunteer capacity during the 2013-14 season, and is thus in his fifth year on the Canyonview Aquatic Center deck. Djordjevic added the title of recruiting coordinator ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.

Djordjevic has prior coaching experience at San Diego club programs North Coast Aquatics and Pacific Swim, as well as having held numerous posts at the international level, primarily for his native Serbia. He is a 2007 graduate of Serbia's University of Novi Sad.

Assistant Coach - Emmett Walling

Emmett Walling, a former standout swimmer at USC, is in his fourth season as an assistant coach on the University of California San Diego swimming and diving staff in 2016-17.

In addition to his duties in La Jolla, Walling is a fourth-year head coach in the Coronado Navy Swim Association (CNSA) club program.

A native of Manasquan, N.J., Walling spent two seasons at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Fla., before swimming for the Trojans in 2009-10 and 2010-11. Specializing in sprint freestyle and breaststroke events, he served as a senior co-captain after placing 16th in the 100-yard breaststroke (54.02) at the 2010 NCAA Championships as a junior.

Walling was part of Indian River's 34th and 35th straight National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) crowns in 2008 and 2009. He broke NJCAA records in 2009 in the 50 free (19.43) and the 100 breast (53.83), earning Swimmer of the Meet distinction.

Walling majored in human performance at USC, graduating in 2011. He previously spent 10 summers as an open water lifeguard, and is an avid surfer

Assistant Coach - Mike Travers

Mike Travers joined the University of California San Diego men's and women's swimming and diving staff as an assistant coach in late October of 2017. The 2017-18 season is his first on the Canyonview Aquatic Center deck.

Assistant Coach - Savannah Miller

Savannah Miller was named an assistant coach for the University of California San Diego men's and women's swimming and diving programs in October of 2017. The 2017-18 season is her first on the Canyonview Aquatic Center deck.

Miller is a 2016 graduate of San Diego State University and former Aztec swimmer in the NCAA Division I and Mountain West Conference (MW). She captained SDSU to a pair of MW titles. She was teammates with first-year UC San Diego head diving coach Rafaella Suarez during her freshman season. Miller earned her degree in nutrition and food science.

 Joining the coaching staff will be highly experienced and accomplished members of the UCSD Varsity Swim Team.