Swimming & Diving
Endowment Header


"Oakland University provided me with more life experience than anyone can imagine. Nearly every day, I reference something from the knowledge gained in the classroom, my years living in the residence halls or the experience of being part of a national level swimming program. In advertising, we are always trying to achieve the highest level of success, whether it is to attract a new client, retain an existing one or to run our business as efficiently as possible. As an OU swimmer, we relied on careful planning and nurturing by the coaches to help us achieve our individual and team goals. The endowment program is a great step to help today's student-athletes become peak performers in the pool and in life. I am very proud to be an OU graduate, and especially proud to be a member of the swim team for four years."
- Tim Murphy (1977-81)
President, Siltanen & Partners Advertising, El Segundo, California


"The opportunity that I had to attend Oakland and be a member of the team is something that I will treasure all of my life. The experience of being on the team established the strong base of knowledge, passion, competitive drive and work ethic that I continue to draw on today in my own career. The lessons imparted by the coaches in my time at Oakland were numerous and to have the chance to give back to the program to help provide a strong future for other student-athletes feels tremendous."
- Sue Novitsky (1987-91)
Head Coach, University of Illinois Swimming & Diving


"The years I spent swimming in the OU program were some of the best years of my life. I look back at the photos and am immediately transported back in time, like it was yesterday. The workouts, the trips, the meets, Nationals, all wonderful times that helped shape me. My connections at OU were and still are my teammates, Pete, Tracy, and the rest of the coaching staff. Regardless of when you "came through" the program, we are all brothers and sisters of Oakland Swimming, all related, all connected by that OU bond. We're happy to be able to contribute back to the program that gave me so much, and we want to help Oakland Swimming thrive, as it produces future generations of alums that will all share the unique OU lineage."
- Mike (1984-87) and Tracy Koleber
Owners, Nitro Swimming, Austin, Texas
Oakland University Swimming & Diving
The Team. The Tradition. The Excellence.

The history of the Oakland University Swimming and Diving program can only be matched by its success. Let's take a brief look...

  • Men's Swimming and Diving becomes the first intercollegiate varsity sport at Oakland University (1964).
  • Hollie Lepley names Corey Van Fleet head coach. Women's Swimming and Diving begins participation (1965).
  • The men's team is the first in OU's history to win a conference championship, compete in an NCAA national championship, host a national championship, have an All-American, have an individual national champion, and win a national championship title.
  • Ernie Maglischo and Pete Hovland arrive at OU to coach the programs (1979). Coach Hovland maintains the longest tenure of any coach in Oakland's history.
  • The men's team wins the first of its five NCAA Division II National Team titles (1980).
  • The men's and women's programs have won more individual and team championships at the conference and national levels than any other OU sport. These teams have accumulated more All-Americans at the NCAA Division I and II levels than all other sports combined.
  • The women's team wins the first of its five consecutive NCAA Division II National Team titles (1990).
  • The men's team won every conference championship title while a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and the women won all but one. OU has won every conference team title since becoming a member of the Mid-Continent Conference/Summit League.
  • OU Swimming and Diving has accumulated more academic honors and awards than any other program.
  • Oakland Athletics reclassifies to NCAA Division I (1999). Since the move to DI, the men's team has finished in the top 35 nationally five times, including a 25th place finish at the 2006 NCAA Championships. The women's team has one top 40 NCAA finish (39th in 2004).
  • The Oakland University natatorium is considered the premier swimming venue in the state of Michigan.
  • These teams have produced more professional coaches than any other program.
  • The Swimming and Diving Alumni weekend is traditionally one of the highest attended alumni events on campus.
  • These teams have the highest percentage of members in the Oakland University Athletic Hall of Honor.
  • The alumni, parents and fans of these teams have always been, and continue to be, the BEST!

Although this list could continue on, you get a sense for not only where this program started but, the excellence that continues to this day. For any of us, the ability to compete at the highest level of intercollegiate sports has long past. Regardless, the opportunity to be a part of The Team. The Tradition. The Excellence. still exists. Whether as a "Pioneer" or, now as a "Golden Grizzly," we can impact the level of success that our current and future student-athletes will attain. It's time to join together in not only championing the past and present of Oakland Swimming and Diving but, in realizing the potential for the future.


Coaching Endowment Program

The OU Swimming & Diving tradition is attributable to the hundreds of men and women that value the academic, athletic and social environment that was, and remains, unique to Oakland. It is an experience that the coaches, staff, alumni and friend's value and carry on to this day. Oakland coaches, are instrumental in providing for this exceptional experience for our student-athletes. Their knowledge and commitment provides this unique opportunity that continues to attract quality individuals to this campus, and specifically, the team.

Oakland University has an association with many of the finest swimming & diving coaches in the country. Dating back to the influence of Corey Van Fleet and continuing today with Pete Hovland, many coaches have honed their skills at Oakland. Over several decades, a large number of OU's own have turned their talents to the coaching profession. Whether as a temporary interest, or as a professional career, the expertise in the coaching realm by Oakland graduates is exceptional!

At Oakland, the desire and ability to coach is driven by more than just the skills of an athlete. It is based on the educational component that few swimming and diving programs offer. It is about the opportunity and privilege to learn and teach. Quite simply, it is knowledge, passion and science combining to achieve at a high level of excellence. Many have taken advantage of it; packaged it with their own individual traits; with an outcome that equates to quality coaching that is unique and desirable.

Our objective is twofold. One, the creation of an endowment to assist in the funding of the program's coaching positions. Two, provide a qualified, passionate and skilled coaching staff which is dedicated to excellence in intercollegiate swimming & diving. Meeting our objective will provide OU Swimming & Diving with the capacity to compete at the elite level. It provides the opportunity for former student-athletes to pursue coaching as a profession, developing the necessary skills to become an "Oakland Coach" that many other organizations desire. And, it provides for the safety, health and well being of our student-athletes.

A $1 million endowment will annually secure funding to support the Coaching Fellowship Program. Whether your desire is to pay tribute to one of the ten head coaches in program history or to honor the dedication of the nearly 60 assistant coaches that have served, your contribution to the endowment is primary to OUr student-athlete success.

The Coaching Endowment program is offered to all members of the community that have a genuine interest in Oakland Swimming & Diving. It's the opportunity to provide a distinctive competitive experience, and to honor the best athletic program in the history of Oakland University. Be a part of the continuing legacy. Be a part of The Team. The Tradition. The Excellence.


Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you well. On behalf of Oakland Athletics, I want to thank you for taking the time to look at and consider the enclosed information. As you can see, this is about Oakland Swimming & Diving. Or, as we like to define it - The Team. The Tradition. The Excellence.

And now...The Opportunity!

There is no doubt that the foundation and success of Oakland Swimming & Diving has developed over several decades. The program has moved from an NCAA Division II power to an aspiring Division I program. With a handful of top 40 finishes nationally, the goal to be top 25 is attainable. As alumni and friends, the potential to have an impact on the Oakland Swimming & Diving program has never been greater. What you have received is an opportunity to invest in the Oakland Swimming & Diving Coaching Endowment.

The Goals...

  • Establish an endowment that provides annual funding for two (2) full-time coaches, bringing us to a level commensurate with the top 25 programs in the country.
  • Provide an environment in which current and former student-athletes can acquire desirable and effective coaching skills.
We built "The Team." We created "The Tradition." The ability to provide "The Excellence" in coaching and competitive participation is ours. We will formulate the foundation that will produce a top 25 program on an annual basis.

I ask that you join me, other alumni, and friends in support. The intention is clear - Build an endowment that will be the largest investment in a single program at Oakland University. In order for us to effectively impact the program, the endowment target is set at $1 million.

We are excited to have a group of alumni and friends, many of whom are current and former coaches, that have already made a commitment to the endowment (see other side). We invite you to join us in this opportunity. The Team, The Tradition and The Excellence can only continue with your involvement.

I look forward to hearing back from you soon. Do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience (huth@oakland.edu or office/248.370.2669 or cell/248.563.9344). Let's make this happen! Respond to "The Opportunity" today!!

All the best,
Tracy A. Huth
Tracy A. Huth
Director of Athletics
(Pioneer Swimming, 1980-84)

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