Men’s & Women’s Swimming Head Coach, University of Southern California
Coach Salo is the Head Coach of the University of Southern California men’s and women’s Swimming & Diving Teams where he recently completed his eighth season. He also retains his position as General Manager of the Irvine Novaquatics Swim Team while also being the Head Coach of the Trojan Swim Club based at USC. Coach Salo had more than 20 athletes competing for several countries competing at the London Olympic Games, including Olympic Gold Medalists, Rebecca Soni and Ous Mellouli among others. He gained early distinction coaching Amanda Beard, Aaron Peirsol, Jason Lezak and Mike Cavic to international success while head coach with the Irvine Novaquatics. His teams at USC have been perennial top five performers while garnering at least one NCAA Championship title (relay or individual) each of his eight years as Head Coach. Beyond swimming Coach Salo is actively involved in developing swimming programs in the low economic areas of Los Angeles.
Coach Salo swam for Santa Rosa Junior College from 1976 to 1978 before transferring to Long Beach State. He graduated from Long Beach State with a B.A. and a M.A. in exercise physiology and served as an assistant women’s swimming coach while there in 1981 and 1982. Later he earned his doctorate in Exercise Physiology from USC in 1991. Coach Salo went on to join the Novas after five season (1985-90) working under legendary USC swimming coach Pete Daland. He helped guide Troy’s men’s team to five Top 5 NCAA finishes, including second-place marks in 1987, 1988 and 1990. Troy also had perfect dual-meet records in 1988, 1990 and 1991. Among the USC swimmers he helped coach were NCAA champions and Olympians Dave Wharton and Dan Jorgensen.
Besides duties with the Novas and the U.S. team, Salo served as co-head coach at Orange Coast College from 2000 to 2004. The Pirates won the 2003 California state title and Salo was honored as state Co-Coach of the Year. Also in 2003, he became the Founding Director of Aquatics at Soka University in Alisa Viejo, California.
Coach Salo came to USC after serving as head coach of the Irvine Novaquatics from 1990 to 2006.
“Returning to USC, following in the footsteps of Hall of Fame coaches Peter Daland and Mark Schubert, is a coach’s dream,” said Salo. “The fact that it is my reality can’t be described adequately.
“I have had a dream coaching career – coaching some of the best swimmers in the world with one of the best clubs in the country. The opportunity to come back to USC to coach one of the most storied programs in the history of collegiate swimming is tremendously exciting.”
Salo guided the Novas to numerous Junior National and U.S. National team titles as well as several age group championships. He was tabbed 2002 U.S. Swimming Coach of the Year after leading the Novas to U.S. Spring and Summer national titles. Nova swimmers and alums who trained under Salo have consistently dotted the roster of U.S. national teams, often in starring roles.
Dave Salo Top Swimmers Included:
- Rebecca Soni
- Ous Mellouli
- Larson Jensen
- Lenny Krayzelburg
- Gabe Woodward
- Aaron Peirsol
- Amanda Beard
- Staciana Stitts
- Colleen Lanne
- Jason Lezak
- Jessica Hardy
In addition to his work with the Novas, he has served extensively at the national level, including head coaching assignments for the United States at the 2013 (women) and 2005 World Championships (men) and the 2001 Goodwill Games (men). His assistant coaching duties for the U.S. include the 2012 Olympics (women), 2010 Short Course World Championships (women), 2004 Olympics (men), 2003 World Championships (men and women), 2002 Pan Pacific Championships (men), 2000 Olympics (women) and the 1999 Pan American Games (women).