UT's Matt Kredich soaking up Olympic atmosphere

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Matt Kredich will submerge himself in the atmosphere surrounding the U.S. Olympic swimming team the remainder of this week at the $27 million Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.

Most all coaches present for the team's training sessions at the Tennessee facilities are familiar with Kredich, coach of the recently merged UT men's and women's swimming and diving programs.

And now Kredich is ready to get more familiar with them, particularly USA Swimming National Team Director Frank Busch.

Prior to taking over his post leading the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team in May of 2011, Busch served 22 years as Arizona's coach, leading the Wildcats' men's and women's teams to the national championship in 2008.

"That's the pinnacle of college coaching, to do that in a combined program," Kredich said. "So when our (UT) administration made the decision to combine our programs, one of my first thoughts was that I have to talk to Frank, and get some insight as to how he was able to do it.

"Greg Troy (the U.S. Olympic swimming team men's coach) also has done a great job at Florida, so I plan to talk to him, too," he said. "It's a tremendous opportunity to have a group of coaches here in Knoxville that I can learn from."

UT athletic director Dave Hart made the decision to combine the Vols' swimming programs on April 12, after former men's coach John Trembly was let go in mid-season due to a contract violation involving gross misconduct.

Kredich has been coaching the Lady Vols program since 2005. Behind his leadership, the UT women have broken all 19 school records and finished in the nation's top 15 six consecutive seasons.

Even before the programs were combined, Kredich was widely recognized as one of the nation's most promising coaches.

"I love Matt Kredich and what he's done with the womens' program the past few years at Tennessee," NBC analyst and International Swimming Hall of Fame member Rowdy Gaines said at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials in Omaha, Neb., last month.

"Tennessee could not have picked a better guy to run its men's program," he said. "Tennessee has a great tradition, and I think Matt is the guy to lead them back into the glory days again."

While Kredich doesn't have any official role or duties with the U.S. Olympic swimming team this week, Busch has invited him the prestige of being "on deck" outside of the pool.

In addition to the contracted use of the Vols facilities, Kredich will lend the team underwater video equipment to aid their training.

Busch, a no-nonsense leader, appreciated Kredich even before his added support to Team USA's Olympic cause.

"I've known Matt since he was a volunteer coach at Stanford, and he's a first-class individual and a world-class coach," Busch said. "Matt takes that part of being a good person into his coaching, and I think the challenge in front of him to combine these programs will be hard work, but not a daunting task.

"I've watched him grow as a coach, and I've been impressed with how he handles things, so you have a great young coach here who will be on multiple staffs at multiple levels as time goes on."

Kredich believes the presence of the U.S. Olympic swimming team in Knoxville serves his cause to lead the Vols to future championships.

"The most obvious thing is it puts a stamp of approval on our campus and facilities," Kredich said. "Just by inference, that the U.S. Olympic team chose the University of Tennessee for essential preparations, says that we have everything we need. That's clearly implied.

"Aside from that, anytime someone on the U.S. National team swims in our pool, that's an experience they'll have to talk about on future national trips, in conversations with their teammates," he said. "It's an experience the USA Swimming team has and can talk about. If we do a good job, they'll talk about us favorably."

Much like most all do about Kredich, already.

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Comments » 1

luvmatersoup writes:

FIRST!!! I have to admit that I'm not a big follower of swimming but the gentleman in the picture above looks a little old to be in college to me. Does anyone know if Matt is a redshirt? Go Vols and I wish you all the luck in Bejing!!!

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