Men's Swimming & Diving
Iván Sánchez Hired as Swimming & Diving Assistant

Iván Sánchez Hired as Swimming & Diving Assistant

by Greg Welsh

LEXINGTON. Ky. –  Kentucky swimming & diving head coach Bret Lundgaard is bolstering his staff, announcing the addition of new assistant coach, Iván Sánchez, on Tuesday.

Sánchez, a former Division I swimmer at Southern Illinois, spent the past six seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, while also serving as an assistant for the Mexico national team since 2023. He will officially join the coaching staff at Kentucky in July.

“We are thrilled to welcome Iván and his family to Lexington,” Lundgaard said. “Iván’s strength in how he connects with student-athletes will be a tremendous asset for our program’s culture and development. He has done a great job at SIU, and we are grateful for the positive influence he’ll undoubtedly make on our team.”

Sánchez’s coaching acumen is made evident by the number of highly successful student-athletes he worked with during his time on the Salukis’ staff.  He assisted with the development and training of the Mid-American Conference Swimmer of the Year each of the last two seasons on the men’s side, while also coaching a pair of MAC Freshman Swimmer of the Year recipients. On the women’s end, Sánchez and staff coached 2024 MVC Swimmer of the Year, Celia Pulido, as well as the conference’s Freshman Swimmer of the Year for four consecutive years from 2020-2023. During his six years in Carbondale, Illinois, Sánchez helped guide a total of 14 athletes to 33 individual conference championships in addition to working with 12 conference-winning relays.

“I want to thank Coach Lundgaard and the University of Kentucky Athletic Department for the opportunity for my family and I to join the Wildcat swimming & diving family,” Sánchez said. “Coach Lundgaard’s vision, leadership and commitment to the program are just a few of the values that I share with him and believe in. I am very excited to start this new chapter and help UK swimming & diving in the upcoming seasons. I am grateful to the coaches, administrators and athletes at my alma mater, Southern Illinois University because without them this opportunity would not be possible.”

Sánchez also brings some international coaching experience to Lexington, having worked as an assistant coach for the Mexican National Team since 2003. During this time, he coached at both the Central Americans Games in El Salvador and the Pan-American Games in Chile.

Prior to coaching at Southern Illinois, Sánchez spent four years as an assistant at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. During this time, he was also the head coach for women’s swimming & diving at John F. Kennedy High School for two years, after previously leading girl’s and boys’ swimming at Iowa City High School for three years. He got his coaching start at Southern Illinois as a volunteer assistant from 2006-2009.

Sánchez graduated from Southern Illinois in 2006 with bachelor’s degrees in both finance and management. He earned his master’s in sport management from the institution in 2009.

As a collegiate swimmer, Sánchez was a MVC Champion and record holder in both the 200 and 500 free and helped lead his team to two conference titles. He was a three-time Olympic Trials qualifier for the Mexican National Team and swam to a third-place finish in the 15K Open Water Mexican Nationals in 2003.

For the latest on UK Swim & Dive, follow the Wildcats on X and Instagram at @UKSwimDive, and on Facebook at Kentucky Swimming and Diving.

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