2017-18 Recap: FAU Swimming & Diving on the Rise
Lara Preacco Talks About Her Olypmic Experience
Six Place in Top 10 in Day Two of CCSA Championship
FAU men's swimming and diving team compete in the CCSA Championships
FAU Swimming and Diving Ranks Among Nation's Best Academically
2016-17 Senior Day vs. Indian River State College
The FAU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee held its second annual field day at A.D. Henderson University School on April 10, 2015.
The 2014-15 Swimming & Diving team recognized six seniors at the meet against IRSC on Jan. 31.
Lara Preacco, a former Florida Atlantic University swimmer, was named head FAU swim coach in May of 2014 after serving as the assistant swim coach since May 2012. Preacco has been involved with FAU and the Owls in some way since 1994, even while obtaining both her master's and doctorate degrees.
During her three seasons as head coach, Preacco's squad has amassed 16 conference titles, three NCAA Championship participants, the 2016 CCSA Diver of the Year award and six divers have advanced to the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships. Preacco has coached 24 All-Conference members who have earned 59 separate All-Conference honors. Preacco pushes the team to do just as well academically as they do in the pool. The women are a five-time College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-America Team, which spans Preacco's tenure as head coach. The men have also received this honor four times.
In the 2016-17 season, the men's team finished fourth at the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association Championships (CCSA), and diver Ryan McIntire defended his title in both the 1- and 3-meter dives to earn Most Outstanding Male Diver of the Meet. On the women's side, newcomer Victoria Moretti also won the 1- and 3-meter to claim Conference USA Championship Diver of the Meet. Both divers advanced to the NCAA Zone B Diving Championship where Moretti qualified for the 3-meter and platform events at the championships. Moretti was the first diver since Marion Reiff in 2002 to compete at the NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships.
In her first season as head coach, Preacco saw a lot of success with the men and women both putting up better conference championship finishes compared to the 2013-14 season. Also, one swimmer qualified for NCAA Championships and two divers qualified for NCAA Zone B Diving Championships.
"Lara (Preacco) brings a wealth of experience and a tremendously successful background from FAU as a student, swimmer and a coach. Her energy and passion for higher education and swimming will be a great addition to our program. Preacco embodies everything we look for in a coach. She is an educator with a deep passion for her alma mater," said Pat Chun, FAU's Director of Athletics.
Preacco swam for the Owls from 1994 to 1998 and was an Owls' assistant coach from 1998-2001, while earning her master's degree. As a collegiate swimmer, Preacco was named the team's MVP in 1995-96, and she served as team captain in 1996-97. She represented both the university and her home country of Switzerland in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and was inducted into the FAU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.
By the time she came to FAU, Preacco was a 33-time gold medalist in national competition while being a medalist more than 60 times. She set five Swiss national records and captured 38 gold medals competing at the Swiss National Championships from 1983-97. She also competed in the World Championship, four European Championships, as well as many European and World Cups.
Besides her impressive resume in the pool, Preacco earned honorable mention in the All-American Scholar Excellence rankings. She earned a spot on the FAU Dean's List four times and President's List three times. Preacco obtained both her bachelor's and master's degrees from FAU and earned her doctorate in counseling psychology in 2009 from Western Michigan University.
Preacco believes her educational background as well as first-hand knowledge of FAU and its swim program will directly assist the Owl swimmers overall well-being and performance. She wants to focus on nutrition, psychology, academics, time management and other stressors that will impact the FAU swim program.
"I want to bring all the aspects together," Preacco said. "There are many facets to the student-athletes, which need to come together, instead of just focusing on performance."