March 23, 2012

Tigers Tab Alum Peter Richardson To Lead Men's And Women's Swimming Programs

Stockton, Calif. — University of the Pacific Vice President for External Relations and Director of Athletics Ted Leland announced today that Peter Richardson has been named the Tigers' Men's and Women's Swimming Head Coach. 

"I am very pleased to welcome Peter back to Pacific," said Leland. "He has had exceptional success at Fresno Pacific and we are looking forward to Peter bringing the Tiger program back to the championship level he achieved as a student-athlete." 

Richardson had been the head swimming coach at Fresno Pacific University since the program's inception in 2007.  In just the fifth year as a program, Richardson has turned the men's and women's swimming team into perennial NAIA powers. 

"To return to my alma mater as the head swim coach is a dream opportunity for my family and me," said Richardson.  "I'm very passionate about Pacific and the Stockton community.  Pacific swimming has a championship tradition and I cannot wait to build upon that.  I think of the great tradition established by Coach Bill Rose, Olympian Brad Schumacher, Coach Ray Looze and everyone in between and I am inspired to achieve greatness.  I would like to thank Dr. Ted Leland and the Pacific Athletic Administration for the opportunity to lead the PacificTiger swim program to new heights.  I acknowledge there is much work to be done: but there's not another place in the world I would rather be than at Pacific. Go Tigers!" 

The Fresno Pacific men's swimming program won back to back NAIA National Championships in 2010 and 2011, while the women's team won the National Championship in 2012. The men's team finished sixth, second, first, first and second in the five years as a program, while the women's team has finished fifth, fourth, third, second and first. 

Under Richardson's tutelage, FPU swimmers have won 31 individual national championships and 18 championship relays; while setting 24 NAIA national records. Richardson has been named the NAIA National Coach of the Year in each of the past four seasons (08-09 Men's, 09-10 Women's, 10-11 Men's, 11-12 Women's).  Richardson turned FPU into a great program that compared with the best teams in the country, regardless of division.  In the 2011-12 season alone, Fresno Pacific had 15 NCAA D I B cuts, one A cut and seven Olympic Trial time standards.

Richardson's success at FPU includes developing 2010 NAIA National Swimmer of the Year, Cheyenne Coffman.  Coffman came to Fresno Pacific as a 24.4 50 freestyler and 1:01 backstroker.  In 2010, she qualified for the Olympic trials and was ranked 17th in the country in 50 LCM freestyle (25.74).  She swam the 50 yard freestyle in 22.29 and the 100 backstroke in 52.41 in her senior season with the program. Both of those times would have scored at the 2012 NCAA Division I Championships. 

In the summer of 2010, Richardson helped four Sunbird swimmers qualify for USA Nationals in Irvine. In 2011, Richardson took not only individual qualifiers, but also relays to USA Nationals at Stanford University. He helped Carl Weigley to a 22nd place finish at the USA Nationals in the 100 LCM Butterfly. In 2009, FPU swimmers Cheynne Coffman, Weigley, Seamus Alger, and Jared Gilbert swam under Richardson at the US Open in Federal Way, Washington. At the US Open meet, Richardson also coached Cal-Berkeley's NCAA Champion Josh Daniels and USC NCAA qualifier Jeff Daniels to lifetime bests in the 50M and 100M LC freestyles while representing Clovis Swim Club.

Peter started his swimming career at Buchanan High School in Clovis, Calif. and continued with Clovis Swim Club where he helped the Clovis Swim Club men's team win Summer Junior Nationals in 1999. 

After high school, Richardson attended University of the Pacific where he earned his Bachelor's degree and teaching credential. While at Pacific, he was the team captain his junior and senior seasons.  During those two years, the Tigers won back-to-back Big West Conference Championships in 2002 and 2003. In his senior season, Richardson received the Pacific Leadership Award for all athletics. 

After college, Richardson was the assistant National Team Coach with Clovis Swim Club and the head men's & women's swim coach at Sanger High School where they won four league championships in three years.  Richardson earned his Master's degree in 2007 from Fresno State. His degree is in teaching with an emphasis on multicultural education in the classroom. 

Richardson and his wife, Jonelle, have two daughters, Gabrielle (4) and Brooklyn (10 months).