By Sammie Hill–
Last week, the University of Louisville swimming and diving program announced a new addition to the coaching staff. Three-time Olympian has joined the Cardinals as an assistant head coach.
Polyakov is a 2007 graduate from the University of Alabama. There he achieved tremendous success, becoming a five-time SEC Champion, two-time NCAA Champion, and two-time U.S. National Champion. The Marketing major competed in the 100 and 200 breaststroke in 2005 and 2006, winning first in the conference in both categories, both years. Polyakov holds the SEC record for the 200 breaststroke.
He certainly made his mark on the University of Alabama; Polyakov holds school records for the 100 and 200 breaststroke. To honor his accomplishments, the University of Alabama inducted him into the Alabama Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame.
Polyakov excelled not only in swimming but also in academics. He was named to the President’s List in 2002 and 2003, and to the Dean’s List all throughout his collegiate career. For four consecutive years, he was selected as a member of the Academic All-SEC list and the Coaches Association’s list of Academic All-Americans. The University of Alabama gave him the “Most Valuable” Award for Most Dedicated Student-Athlete of the Year in 2005 and 2006. He was chosen as a member of the ESPN Academic All-American At-Large Team in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Polyakov will rejoin a familiar face here at U of L—head coach Arthur Albiero coached at Alabama while Polyakov was an athlete there.
“I am thrilled to rejoin with Arthur and look forward to this incredible opportunity,” said Polyakov. “We have always had a great level of understanding and respect for each other. I’ve always appreciated his professional attitude and individual approach towards his athletes.”
Albiero expressed excitement at having Polyakov as a part of the coaching staff.
“Vlad fits everything we were looking for in a new coach for our program. He brings tremendous energy to our program,” said Albiero. “His experiences as world-class athlete will add to our already experienced coaching staff. His resume speaks for itself, but more importantly, he is a humble guy with a fantastic work ethic.”
Polyakov thinks highly of the contributions Albiero has made at the University of Louisville.
“What he has been able to accomplish here at Louisville within such short period of time, really tells you a lot about this organization and its vision,” Polyakov stated.
Throughout college and after, Polyakov competed in the Olympic games three times for his native country, Kazakhstan. He swam in the 2004 Olympic games in Athens, the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and the 2012 Olympics in London.
“He is well respected in swimming circles in the U.S. and worldwide,” Albiero said of Polyakov. “His drive to pursue high-level excellence fits in perfectly with our program philosophy. He will connect well with all of our student-athletes.”
The University of Louisville swimming and diving program hopes Polyakov’s talent and experience will help Cardinal athletes continue to improve.
“It is a true honor to be a part of a program that has shown consistent record of success in the past years, both academically and athletically,” said Polyakov. “I think that the sky is the limit for this program and I can’t wait to contribute to its future success.”
Photo courtesy notinat.com