Pat Ota Selected To Lead Swimming And Diving Program - University of Nevada Las Vegas Athletics (2024)

Swimming & Diving

Ota has spent the past eight seasons with the Rebels and has served as interim head coach since May

LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) –Pat Ota has been named head coach of the UNLV swimming & diving program, Director of Athletics Erick Harper announced Friday.

Ota, who has spent the past eight seasons with the Rebels and has been their interim head coach since May, is the sixth head coach in the history of the program.

Ota's previous roles at UNLV have included being associate head coach as well as head assistant coach. Since coming to Las Vegas in 2016, Ota has helped lead the Scarlet & Gray to five conference championships, including the men's team's fourth consecutive Western Athletic Conference title with a meet points record this past spring and the women's squad's 2021 Mountain West crown.

"Pat has been a part of building upon UNLV swimming & diving's championship culture for almost a decade," Harper said. "He has a proven track record with conference championships and NCAA Championship qualifiers, and also understands the process that goes into developing great student-athletes, both in academics and in athletics. He is the right person to lead this program to continued success."

As a member of the UNLV coaching staff, Ota has helped produce a combined 73 WAC and MW individual and relay champions, 35 school records and six conference records. Additionally, the Rebels have seen eight individuals and three relay teams qualify for the NCAA Championships, three individuals reach the U.S. Olympic Trials and one student-athlete (Vuk Celic) go on to compete in the Olympics during his time on campus.

"I am honored to have this opportunity to continue our success here at UNLV, while having the confidence of the student-athletes and our administration to lead the Rebels into the future," said Ota. "I want to thank our athletics director Erick Harper and the search committee for the opportunity to convey my passion for UNLV and the Las Vegas community. I've learned so much from Coach (Ben) Loorz over the last eight seasons, while I've relied on the support of my wife, Razilee, and my family. I look forward with great enthusiasm as I enter this next stage of my coaching career."

On the academic side, the Rebels have placed 40 honorees on the CSCAA Scholar All-America list, 124 honorees on the MW All-Academic Team and over 40 honorees on the Academic All-WAC Team since the 2016-17 season. Among the program's athletic recognition under Ota's assistance are George Ratiu's 2024 WAC Swimmer of the Year and 2021 Freshman of the Year awards, Kris Matuszewski's 2023 WAC Freshman of the Year honor, Fernanda Mendez Guerra's 2024 MW Freshman of the Year award and Ruby Howell's 2021 MW Freshman of the Year accolade.

Along with his collegiate coaching duties, Ota assisted in the training of world-class sprinters Kasia Wasick from Poland and Mexico's Sofia Revilak. A former UNLV volunteer assistant, Wasick placed fifth in the 50-meter free at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games and has since risen to the top of the world standings, ranking as high as No. 2. Revilak, who was the Rebels' director of operations during the 2023-24 campaign, won the 50-meter free at the 2023 Central American & Caribbean Games and anchored Mexico's women's 400 medley relay that set a national record at the 2023 Pan American Games.

Prior to his arrival in Las Vegas, Ota was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Fresno State for five years (2011-16). He coached the Bulldogs to 10 school records, a MW individual champion, a NCAA qualifier and a pair of Olympic Trial qualifiers.

Before that, Ota began his coaching career in 2007 as the head assistant at Fresno Pacific (2007-11) where he spent four years. During that span, he oversaw a sprint group that featured nine individual NAIA champions as the men's team won two national titles and the women's team collected two national runner-up finishes. His stint with the Sunbirds also brought about two U.S. Olympic Trial qualifiers who each went on to reach the semifinals at trials.

A former student-athlete, Ota swam collegiately all four years at UC Santa Barbara (2002-06) and helped the Gauchos win Big West Championships in 2004 and 2006. At UCSB, he was a three-time conference champion in the 100 back, a NCAA qualifier in the 100 back as a senior (2006) and a 2005 Big West Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipient.

Ota graduated with a bachelor's degree in film studies from UC Santa Barbara in 2006 and later earned his master's degree in positive coaching from Missouri in 2020. He and his wife, Razilee, have a daughter, Alicia (12), two sons, Evan (8) and Theo (2), and a baby girl on the way in July.

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Players Mentioned

Ruby Howell

Breast/IM
5' 11"
Sophom*ore

George Ratiu

Sprint
Sophom*ore

Fernanda Mendez Guerra

Free/Fly
Freshman

Players Mentioned

Ruby Howell

5' 11"
Sophom*ore
Breast/IM

George Ratiu

Sophom*ore
Sprint

Fernanda Mendez Guerra

Freshman
Free/Fly
Pat Ota Selected To Lead Swimming And Diving Program - University of Nevada Las Vegas Athletics (2024)

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