Oklahoma Baptist has added former Olympic and NCAA Division I swim coach Samuel Freas as its first swimming and diving coach.
Dr. Freas, who coached the Republic of South Africa's swim team in the
Olympics, has been the head coach at Arkansas, Hawaii and Louisiana
State, as well as SUNY-Potsdam and Allegheny College.
fortunate to have a man with Dr. Freas' credentials and background in
swimming and diving here at OBU," said OBU Director of Athletics Norris
Russell. "We anticipate that he will get our program up and running in
He was 64-12 at Allegheny, 84-15 at Arkansas, 61-9 at
LSU and 40-0 at Hawaii in dual meets, with multiple top-10 team finishes
at each stop. His swimmers at Arkansas set seven U.S. records, three
world records and produced 11 Olympians and one world champion. In all,
19 of his college swimmers have competed in the Olympics.
addition to his work with athletic programs, Freas has served as a
faculty member at Arkansas, LSU and Allegheny College. He also was
director of athletics and health, physical education and recreation at
Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and associate dean at Palm Beach State
College in West Palm Beach, Fla.
"This is a calling for Dr.
Freas and he loved the faculty and staff here on his visit and that
confirmed his calling," said Jack Peavey, OBU assistant athletic
director for new sport implementation. "He's a legend in the swimming
world and we're excited to have him come join the OBU family."
was Southwest Conference Coach of the Year four times, Southeastern
Conference Coach of the Year three times and Western Athletic Conference
Coach of the Year twice in swimming and once in diving.
author of several books on swimming, Freas served as president and CEO
of the International Swimming Hall of Fame from 1989-2004.
attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated
from Springfield College with bachelor's and master's degrees. He did
Ph.D. degree studies at Iowa before earning a doctor of education degree
from California Western.
OBU will begin its swimming and diving programs for men and women in the 2011-12 school year.