ATHENS — There’s another Bulldog in the Olympics.
Jack Bauerle, Georgia’s legendary swimming and diving head coach, was chosen as an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic Team that will compete in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil next month. The appointment was announced by USA Swimming on Sunday.
Bauerle, who coaches both the men’s and women’s teams at UGA, will serve on the men’s staff at the Rio Games Aug. 6-13. This will be Bauerle’s third appointment with the U.S. team. He served as the women’s head coach in 2008 and as a women’s assistant coach in 2000. Bauerle attended the 2004 and 2012 Games as a personal coach.
“Any time I get to represent the USA and UGA at the Olympics, it’s a real honor,” Bauerle said. “I am absolutely elated to be chosen. I’m very thankful and I’m excited. It will be a busy time for all of us, but we’re going to make a lot of special memories.”
Having Bauerle on board makes sense. During the Olympic Trials that ended on Sunday, eight swimmers with UGA ties qualified for the Games. Hali Flickinger, Melanie Margalis, Allison Schmitt, Olivia Smoliga and Amanda Weir made it for the women, while Gunnar Bentz, Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland made it for for the men.
Eight American swimmers is a high-water mark for Georgia, which had seven in 2000 and 2012.
“This appointment is a tribute to our kids who did so well at the Trials,” Bauerle said. “I’m so excited that I’ll get to be around all of them as they experience the Olympics. Whether it’s your first time or your last time, it gives you a lump in your throat.”
Counting Canadians Brittany MacLean, Chantal Van Landeghem and Javier Acevedo and Finland’s Matias Koski, Georgia will have 12 swimmers in Rio. That is third most in program history, trailing only the 15 of 2012 and the 13 of 2000.