TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State swimming and diving head coach Neal Studd announced the hiring of Dan Kesler to the staff as an associate head swimming coach on Monday.
Kesler brings a wealth of experience to Tallahassee, including seven seasons at Arizona State where he worked with the distance and middle distance groups while serving as the recruiting coordinator. Kesler spent his final four years working under FSU alum Bob Bowman – who is best known for coaching the most decorated Olympian of all-time, Michael Phelps.
“I am delighted to add a quality and experienced coach like Dan Kesler to the Seminole family,” Studd said. “We had some amazing candidates and after a thorough search his personality was a perfect fit with our staff and team culture.”
“I am thrilled to work with Coach Studd and his staff at Florida State,” Kesler said. “From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew this would be a great opportunity to achieve excellence. The facilities and campus are first class and I can’t wait to explore Tallahassee and everything it has to offer.”
In 2018-19, Kesler’s distance swimmers were a part of six of Arizona State’s seven scoring swims at the Women’s NCAA Championships, where the team finished 20th.
Cierra Runge secured a pair of individual All-American swims, finishing fourth in the 500 free at 4:35.39 before placing eighth in the 1650 free at 15:53.72. Runge also earned honorable mention behind an 11th-place finish in the 200 free (1:43.76). In her first season at ASU, Runge set new school records in the 200 free (1:43.46), 500 free (4:34.64), 1000 free (9:35.26), 1650 free (15:51.72) and as a part of the 400 and 800 free relays.
Emma Nordin also followed Runge with an honorable mention 1650 free, finishing ninth at NCAAs and both swimmers were a part of the 400 and 800 free relays that placed 14th and 12th respectively.
“I want to thank Coach Bowman for everything he has done for me,” Kesler said. “I know he is excited for me to take this next step at his alma mater.”
Prior to ASU, Kesler spent five years as the top assistant swimming coach at Wingate University overseeing the mid-distance and distance swimmers. Kesler served on the Division II top 25 poll selection committee for the 2011-2012 season.
With Kesler at the helm, the Wingate men’s team captured Bluegrass Mountain Conference championship titles in each of his five years and posted four top-six finishes at the NCAA Division II national championship meets.
Iaroslav Denysenko was voted the 2012 NCAA Division II Swimmer of the Meet after winning three national titles in the 500, the 1000 and the 1650 free and finishing as the runner-up in the 200 free. Denysenko broke a 10-year-old NCAA Division II championship record in the 500 Free.
All 19 records on both men’s and women’s teams were broken during his tenure at Wingate.
Following a stellar high school career, Kesler was a key member of the North Carolina State University Wolfpack swimming team. As a junior, he served as a team captain and was an ACC finalist in the distance events. He was also a 2000 Olympic Trials qualifier while representing Green Terror Aquatic Club.
“Dan is recognized by everyone in our sport as an excellent recruiter and an amazing developer of talent,” Studd added. “I think his 12 years of NCAA experience is perfect for our rising team and will help us get to the very top. Adding Dan to our excellent staff makes us a formidable force. Everyone is ready to get to work and continue the national rise of Florida State swimming and diving.”
A native of Westminster, Maryland, Kesler was a member of the NC State swim team from 2000-03. Swimming runs in the Kesler family as his brother Rob, is also a swim coach for the North Baltimore Aquatic Club and is the head coach at South Carroll Swim Club.
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