Jack Bauerle is no stranger to the Olympics.
And given his track record, along with having eight current and former Georgia swimmers on the U.S. Olympic Team, it probably makes sense for Bauerle to have a role again this summer in Rio de Janeiro.
USA Swimming announced that Bauerle will be an assistant coach on the men's swimming staff in August at the Olympics. This will be the third time Bauerle has been a coach on the U.S. Olympic Team, with his prior coaching engagements coming in 2000 (women's assistant coach) and 2008 (women's head coach).
"Any time I get to represent the USA and UGA at the Olympics, it's a real honor," Bauerle said in a statement. "I am absolutely elated to be chosen. I'm very thankful and I'm excited. It will be a busy time for all of us, but we're going to make a lot of special memories."
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The eight swimmers representing Georgia for the U.S. Olympic Team are Hali Flickinger, Melanie Margalis, Allison Schmitt, Olivia Smoliga, Amanda Weir, Chase Kalisz, Jay Litherland and Gunnar Bentz.
Bentz was officially named to the U.S. Olympic Team on Sunday, although his fifth-place showing in the 200-meter freestyle relay at the U.S. Olympic Trials earlier last week led to the assumption that he'd be on the squad.
“Gunnar is one of our country’s surprises,” Bauerle said. “He came here in the 200 and 400 IM and in the 200 fly, but his 200 free started growing this summer. He’s in such great shape that he can swim anything right now. He’s a tremendous competitor. He stands up and races hard every time. He knows how to beat people at the end of the race.”
In addition to the eight U.S. Olympic swimmers, Georgia will have Brittany MacLean, Chantal Van Landeghem and Javier Acevedo swimming for Canada, and Matias Koski swimming for Finland. The 12 Georgia swimmers at the Olympics ranks third all-time in program history. Georgia had 15 swimmers in 2012 and 13 in 2000.
Bauerle credited his coaching honor to how well Georgia's swimmers performed at the U.S. Olympic Trials last week in Omaha, Nebraska.
"This appointment is a tribute to our kids who did so well at the Trials," Bauerle said. "I'm so excited that I'll get to be around all of them as they experience the Olympics. Whether it's your first time or your last time, it gives you a lump in your throat. We've been together through the training process to this point and we'll keep training over the next month. I expect our kids will have good performances in Rio. I could not be happier with how we did at the Trials. Seeing the looks on their faces when they realized they had fulfilled their Olympic dreams, well, that’s why we coach.”