March 9, 2010
COLUMBIA, Mo. - After 18 years at the helm of the Missouri men's and women's swimming and diving program, Tiger Head Coach Brian Hoffer has decided to resign his position to pursue other opportunities. Associate Head Coach Chris Peters has been elevated to Interim Head Coach of both the men's and women's programs, and he will oversee all operations for both squads for the remainder of the season. Peters, a 1999 graduate of Mizzou, is in his sixth year as an assistant coach for the program that he swam for from 1995-98 under Hoffer.
A national search will be conducted following the conclusion of the season by MU Athletics Administration. Both teams have NCAA Championship meet competition remaining later this month, and Peters will coach the team for those meets.
Hoffer leaves the team as one of the rising programs of the collegiate swimming world, with one of the crown jewels being the Mizzou Aquatics Center. The four-year old complex has been named one of the top facilities in the country, having hosted the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships last year and the annual Missouri Grand Prix that attracts the world's top swimmers to Columbia.
With nearly two decades of work put into the program at Mizzou, Hoffer's legacy will stretch both in and out of the pool. He led the women's program to a top 20 finish this year, having 12 straight winning seasons to his credit with the women and ten winning seasons for the men, with a school-best second place finish in the 2009 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships. He leaves with a dual meet record of 226-134-1 (.628 percentage), coaching six conference champions, eight All-Americans and numerous world and Olympic trial qualifiers. In 2009, Hoffer was named the Big 12 Meet Men's Coach and Women's Co-Coach of the year and was the Big 8's Men's and Women's coach of the year in 1993 and 1994, respectively.
Under his watch, Hoffer has also coached 315 academic all-conference selections, including 16 this year and was named the Missouri Academic Coach of the Year in 1999. Of that amount, 243 have been first team selections, including a team-best 25 first team selections in 2008.
"It's a tough decision to make, but it's the right one at the right time," said Hoffer. "Mizzou has been an incredible place to be for these 18 years, and we've achieved so much and grown so much - it's almost unbelievable to look back and see just how far the program has come. My family and I love Mizzou and Columbia, but it just feels like now is the right time to move on and hand over the reins to someone else. It's been a great run here and I'll miss it, but I'm excited about the future, as well," Hoffer said.
Executive Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator Sarah Reesman, who oversees the swimming and diving programs, said that she is indebted to Hoffer, who came to Mizzou in 1992.
"Brian did an amazing job of building a program that had very little going for it when he came here," Reesman said. "Our facilities were really subpar, but he had a vision and dug in and worked hard and now he's leaving with a pair of programs that are top-25 in the nation. We'll miss him being on deck going forward, but we understand his decision and wish him nothing but the best," she said.
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