By Kathryn Arena / Sports Information Staff
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – Sarit Gluz has been named first fulltime head swimming coach in the 24-year history of the Eastern Connecticut State University women’s swim program. She will also serve as head coach of the first-year men’s program.
“We are very excited to welcome Sarit to the Warrior family,” said Lori Runksmeier, director of athletics. “She impressed the search committee with her enthusiasm, and we are looking forward to having her as our first full-time coach for men’s and women’s swimming.”
In the fall, men’s swimming will become the University’s 18th intercollegiate program.
“I am really excited to be a part of the Eastern family,” Gluz said. “I am excited for the men’s program to get kicked off. I love building relationships with the athletes. It is so fulfilling to see them reach their goals.”
Gluz has coached swimming at a number of different levels, and brings seven years’ experience as an assistant coach at the collegiate level. The Beaverton, OR resident has spent the last five years as assistant men’s and women’s swim coach at her alma mater, Lewis & Clark College, a Division III institution located in Portland, OR which competes in the Northwest Conference.Prior to that, she served as assistant women’s swim coach for 18 months at Division II University of Alaska Fairbanks.
This past year, the Lewis & Clark men placed fifth in the Northwest Conference Championships, the women sixth, both in fields of nine competing institutions.
Gluz graduated in 2009 with a degree in Hispanic studies from Lewis & Clark, where she swam with the Pioneers for four years and specialized in the butterfly and individual medley. During her college career, Gluz was a finalist in the Northwest Conference Championships and dedicated her time as team captain.
“I had a very positive experience as a swimmer at the D3 level,” Gluz explained. “I was able to participate in something I was passionate about and focus on my academics.”
While the Eastern community is eager to welcome Gluz in the fall, her departure from Lewis & Clark is significant, says Chris Fantz, who recently completed his 12th season as Pioneers’ men’s and women’s swimming head coach.
“Sarit was an integral part of our department and our whole campus community. Her work here has helped and inspired so many student-athletes across all of our sports,” offered Fantz. “Personally, the friendship, guidance and support she gave me in our work with the swimming program is something I hold dear as I wish her so much her so much success in her new role,” added Fantz. “We can't wait to cheer her on from Oregon!”
Gluz replaces Maureen Fahey, who had served, on a part-time basis, as the only head coach in the history of the women’s swim program.
Last year, Eastern placed fourth among seven institutions in the Little East Conference Championships and ninth among 20 scoring teams at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Championships.