Inundated with applications from across the country and abroad, Canyons Aquatic Club narrowed its coaching search to three candidates.
The plan, then, was to fly two finalists to Santa Clarita.
David Kuck stopped the club in its tracks.
“After we flew out David, we felt we had the right guy and pulled the trigger,” said Canyons board of directors President Garry Helgeson in an email after the club announced Kuck as its new head coach Tuesday.
The move ends a months-long international search to replace Coley Stickels, who left Canyons for a position on the coaching staff at Indiana University.
Kuck (pronounced “Cook”) comes to Canyons from SwimMAC, a nationally prominent club in North Carolina.
He joined SwimMAC in 2015 – working under 2016 Women’s Olympic Team head coach David Marsh – after coaching at Dublin Swim Teams in Dublin, Ohio, and Westerville Aquatic Club in Ohio, where he was the head age group and assistant senior coach.
Kuck swam collegiately at Ohio State University.
“We are excited about David’s coaching sensibilities and his business acumen,” Helgeson said in a statement. “We look forward to his leadership in the water, on the deck and as a member of the board.”
Kuck’s duties at Canyons include the coordination of the senior division staff and directly coaching all levels of its senior program.
The coach is expected on deck by Aug. 21.
“My coaching philosophy and teaching style is rooted in technique, accountability, and the long-term development of the individual,” Kuck said in a statement. “… Canyons is a wonderful program in an amazing location with families that support the team, which is a recipe for opportunity and excellence.”
Kuck was a Big Ten Championship finalist for four years, according to the news release, which added that Kuck “is best described as an (individual medley) coach, as he feels it vital that all swimmers have competence in all strokes.”
“You can expect both sprinters and distance swimmers will find David at the end of their lanes monitoring their technique and progress,” the release reads.
Kuck also brings the business experience of running a team, according to Canyons, and his experience with Learn to Swim programs is expected to be an asset.
“David’s mission at Canyons will be to focus on the homegrown athletes from our vast geographic area of northern Los Angeles County and to make sure all can progress as high up the ranks of Canyons program as their potential allows,” the release reads.