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Tom Milich is in his 10th season as head coach of the Cal Poly swimming and diving program.
Since 2006-07, Milich has guided the development of swimmers who have broken all 28 school records in individual events (often several times over), as well as relay teams that have established program records at every distance.
He has sent swimmers to the NCAA Championships in five of the past six years, saw two divers advance to the 2014 NCAA Zone E Qualifying Meet and has coached 20 individual conference champions while with the Mustangs.
The program’s student-athletes have earned conference all-academic honors 101 times during his tenure (including 13 this past winter). Additionally, among men and women, the team had a 100-percent graduation success rate within the cycle observed from 2006 through 2012, and since 2009-10, the squads have combined to achieve rare perfect annual NCAA Academic Progress Rates (1,000 out of 1,000) eight out of 10 times.
Altogether, Milich is a 12-time recipient of the ASCA Coach of Excellence award, including most recently in December 2010.
For 16 years before he arrived at Cal Poly, Milich served as the Aquatics Director for the Clovis Swim Club. During that time, he coached five swimmers who went on to represent the U.S. in international competition, while seven ultimately competed at the NCAA Championships.
From 1989 to 1992, Milich was the head men’s water polo coach at Fresno State. During that time, he was also an NCAA representative for U.S. Water Polo and served on the NCAA regional advisory committee.
In 1988, Milich was an assistant coach for the U.S.’ silver medal-winning Olympic men’s water polo team. He was also a staff member for the 1991 gold medal-winning World Championships squad and the silver-winning team at the Pan American Games.
Prior to his collegiate and international experience, Milich coached 61 All-Americans at the high school level, including future Olympians Janet Evans, John Moffet and John Mykkanen. During that time, he was honored with the California Swimming Coach of the Year award in 1987 while at El Dorado High School.
Milich graduated from Long Beach State with a degree in biology in 1978, and went on to earn his teaching credential in 1980. He played water polo for the 49ers.
He currently lives in Arroyo Grande with his wife and two daughters.