AU announced Friday that it has selected Tanner Barton to be the second swimming and diving coach in program history. The announcement came with the news that AU will be launching its diving program under the new head coach.
Barton spent the 2017-18 season as a graduate assistant at his alma-mater of Ball State. He spent last season as an assistant coach at Cleveland State University.
“I am blessed and honored to be leading the swimming and diving programs here at AU,” said Barton. “I am excited to be working for a university that prides itself on spiritual and academic discovery.
“As the head coach for men’s and women’s swimming and diving, I am most excited to help our student-athletes grow spiritually, academically and athletically.”
The women’s team took third place this season at the HCAC Championships, while the men came in fourth. With the addition of a diving program, the Ravens will have more opportunity to accumulate points and place even higher in the conference.
“I look forward to establishing a diving program here at AU,” said Barton. “As we start a diving program, one of the main priorities is to ensure we have a one-meter diving board that is safe for practicing and competing. There are various factors to address, but I intend to have divers representing us at the conference level in the 2020-21 season, if not before.”
Barton will replace interim head coach Megan Wills, who stepped in when Conner Snare accepted an assistant coaching job at Michigan State. Wills was named HCAC women’s coach of the year, but declined to step in as the full -time head coach.
AU will compete in its fourth season next school year and will have their first group of seniors. Barton will step in to the most complete program that the school has seen yet.
He will start on campus full-time on April 22.