Oakland's junior swimming standout will compete in three events at the 2015 NCAA Championships March 26-28
The Golden Grizzlies extended their streaks of consecutive conference championships with team titles at the 2015 Horizon League Championships.
Merrilees sets League and school record in 500 free; women finish 1-2-3-4 in 200 IM
Both the men's and women's 200 medley relay teams set new Oakland records with wins
Oakland's junior freestyle sprint swimmer in the midst of a busy and rewarding spring semester.
Swimming and Diving Head Coach, Pete Hovland, recaps the Illinois meet and previews the upcoming meet with Wright State.
Head Swimming and Diving Coach, Pete Hovland, recaps the dual meet with Duquesne and Richmond and previews the upcoming meet with Illinois
Swimming and Diving Head Coach, Pete Hovland, recaps the UIC meet and previews the upcoming Dual Meet
Swimming and Diving Coach, Pete Hovland, recaps the Black and Gold Meet and previews the upcoming meet vs Chicago
Oakland Swimming and Diving Coach, Pete Hovland discusses the Michigan Water Carnival and the upcoming Black and Gold intrasquad meet.
2015 Horizon League Swimming & Diving Championships - Day Four
2015 Horizon League Swimming & Diving Championships - Day Two
Photos from Tricia Grant's performance at the 2014 NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships
2014 Horizon League Swimming & Diving Championships - Day 3
2014 Horizon League Swimming & Diving Championships - Day 4
The 2014-15 season marks the 36th consecutive year for Pete Hovland as a mentor of the Oakland University men's and women's swimming and diving teams. His tenure as a head coach for the Golden Grizzlies is tied for the second-longest among current NCAA Division I head coaches. And during Hovland's storied career, the Golden Grizzlies have captured national championships, multiple conference crowns and seemingly countless individual accolades and titles.
The Golden Grizzlies have done it all under Hovland, winning numerous national and conference championships. In OU's Division II days, his men's team finished in the top-three at the national championships in 15 of 16 appearances, including winning four consecutive NCAA titles before making the move to Division I status.
In 1997, OU captured its fourth consecutive Division II National Championship in San Antonio, Texas. In the 1990s alone, Hovland and his team claimed four national championships, three NCAA runner-up finishes and one third-place mark. In his 18 years, Oakland has finished in the top three in the country 15 times, with eight second-place finishes, including five in a row from 1987-91. The success has become habitual for the man who has been selected NCAA Division II Coach of the Year six times.
Hovland has had the honor of coaching the NCAA Division II Swimmer of the Year in seven of the 18 seasons he coached. Chris Zoltak was the last to win the honor, being named Division II's top swimmer in 1994. Prior to that, former assistant coach Doug Allen captured the honor in 1991. Tracy Huth, OU's former women's swimming coach, won the honor three times, while Mark VanderMey won it in 1988 and Hilton Woods won it in 1989.
All four of Oakland Olympians have competed for Hovland. Hilton Woods, who won a bronze in the 50-meter freestyle at the 1987 Pan-American Games, swam for the Netherlands Antilles at the 1988 Summer Olympics. He was joined by Hovland who served as his coach. Also competing at the games were Scott Dickens (Canada - 2004), Dario DiFazio (Venezuela - 1992, 1996) and Haitham Hassan (Egypt - 2000).
While the success in the pool has been astounding, it has been matched by success in the classroom. The Golden Grizzlies are consistently named as an All-Academic Team by the National Swimming Coaches Association of America, and a number of Oakland individuals, including 1997 graduate Jay Judson, have been honored by being named to the NSCAA All-Academic Team. With his 3.74 GPA in English Literature and his many athletic accolades, Judson was awarded a prestigious NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship in 1997, becoming the seventh Oakland male swimmer to do so.
Prior to being handed the head coaching reins, Hovland served as an assistant to Oakland head coach and Oakland Hall of Honor member Ernie Maglischo for two seasons, one of which was Oakland's NCAA Championship year.
The pair first connected at Chico State, where Maglischo coached Hovland. As a swimmer, Hovland won five individual national titles and was part of eight national championship relay squads as he was a 23-time NCAA Division II All-America. He swam on four NCAA Championship teams. In 1976, he was selected as the Far Western Conference (FWC) Athlete of the Year and was inducted into the Chico State Hall Of Honor in 1998 and the City of Chico Hall of Fame in 2009.
Hovland earned his bachelor's degree in physical education Chico State in 1976, and received his master's degree from the Northern Iowa in 1979. Following his swimming career, Hovland was an assistant coach at Chico State and Northern Iowa.