In just three full years on the job, Head Swimming Coach Greg Rhodenbaugh has transformed the Tigers into a burgeoning national power. The success of the program, which steadily improved since the Mizzou Aquatic Center opened in 2005, should continue to grow in Rhodenbaugh's fourth season.
Rhodenbaugh continued his revitalization of the team in 2012-13. When the coach arrived in Columbia prior to the 2010-11 season, Missouri was coming off a year when only two Tigers, both divers, qualified for the NCAA Championships. Last season season, Rhodenbaugh brought six men's and four women's individual qualifiers. The Tiger men also qualified for the first time in program history.
The 2012-13 Mizzou men's swimming and diving program placed a program best 14th at the NCAA Championships, a full fi ve spots better than the previous year's finish of 19th. Along the way, the Tigers produced two first team All-Americans, including the program's second swimmer to earn the honors, one more honorable mention All-American, and a slew of team records along the way.
Sophomore Sam Tierney placed seventh in the 100 breaststroke to become just Mizzou's second male first team All-American in program history, and the first since 1979. At the NCAA Championships, the Tiger men also earned All-America honors in a relay for the first time ever, after an 11th-place finish in the 200 medley relay.
In 2011-12, Rhodenbaugh added eight incoming freshmen, three of which were ranked in CollegeSwimming. com's top 75, to Mizzou's already impressive roster. The infusion of experienced underclassmen and exceptionally talented and eager underclassmen was a recipe for success.
In late February, the Tigers hosted the Big 12 Championships and gave the hometown crowd plenty to cheer about. Sophomore Diver David Bonuchi won the 3-meter dive to claim Mizzou's first-ever men's Big 12 diving title, beating defending champion Drew Livingston. The Columbia, Mo., native also posted second-place finishes on the 1-meter and platform competitions. In the pool, Mizzou had three second place finishers and claimed second in the 200 freestyle relay.
At the NCAA Championships later in March, the country took notice of Mizzou's dramatic improvement. The men posted a 19th-place finish, Mizzou's best ever.
Bonuchi was the star of the meet, as the Columbia, Mo., native finished second on
the platform, fourth on the 3-meter and sixth on the 1-meter dives.
On May, 5, 2010, the next chapter of Missouri men's and women's swimming and diving began when highly-touted Arizona assistant Greg Rhodenbaugh was introduced as the head coach of the Missouri Tigers. Regarded as one of the top swimming assistants in the country during his stay with the Wildcats, Rhodenbaugh became the newest head coach of the Tigers, bringing with him years of coaching NCAA and Olympic champions.
Rhodenbaugh spent 11 years as an assistant under legendary swimming coach Frank Busch at Arizona, where he has been the primary coach for the middle distance, stroke and individual medley events. During his tenure as a Wildcat, Rhodenbaugh was a part of the 2008 men's and women's national championship teams, and coached many Olympic swimmers, including two-time gold medalist Amanda Beard, Ryan Berube, Ricardo
Prado and Lars Frolander. He was a member of the U.S. Swimming National Team staff and traveled with the U.S. National Junior Team to Barcelona in 2000 as a staff
In 1988-89, Rhodenbaugh earned his first head coaching gig at his alma mater of Southern Methodist, where he also swam and was a five-time All-American during a senior year where the Mustangs finished fifth at the 1984 national championships. After being an assistant for four years, Rhodenbaugh became the interim coach in 1988 where he was named the Southwest Conference's Co-Coach of the Year
Some of the accolades that Rhodenbaugh has achieved as an athlete include a conference championship, U.S. Nationals championship, and being named SMU's team captain in 1984. He still continues to swim in masters competitions, as he has four Master's Nationals individual championships and was a world record holder in 1993, 1994 and as recently as 2007. As a youngster, Rhodenbaugh swam for Busch as a member of the Cincinnati Marlins Swim Club.