Yuri Suguiyama, a highly decorated associate head coach at Cal and former mentor of Olympian Katie Ledecky, will be the next University of Wisconsin swimming and diving coach.
A UW spokesperson confirmed a report Tuesday by swimming site SwimSwam.com that Suguiyama will be named head coach at UW following six seasons assisting with the men's team at Cal.
The Bears won the 2014 NCAA title with Suguiyama on staff and finished as runner-up the other five years he was with the team.
Before that, he coached Ledecky, a five-time Olympic gold medalist, at Nation's Capital Swim Club in Maryland.
Suguiyama will take over the Badgers programs from Whitney Hite, who was fired in March after seven seasons as head coach.
UW never publicly announced Hite's departure, but senior associate athletic director Justin Doherty confirmed that the decision was made by the school, not Hite. Doherty wouldn't say whether the firing was related to performance or other issues.
In contract language, Hite's termination was without cause, Doherty confirmed. That means the school owes Hite a $100,000 payout over the next year minus any pay he earns from a new position with a club, high school, college or pro program.
Hite had two years remaining on a three-year deal that was extended last April. He received a 10 percent raise in 2016 to bring his 11-month salary up to $112,211.
The Badgers' women's swimming and diving team placed fifth at the 2018 Big Ten Conference meet and 17th in the NCAAs. Sophomore Beata Nelson of Verona earned three All-American finishes, including a second-place award in the 100-yard backstroke.
The men's team was sixth in the Big Ten and did not score in the NCAA meet for the first time since 2006.
The Badgers have never won a team conference title on either the men's or women's side.
In Hite's seven seasons, UW's best NCAA finish for both men and women was 13th (2013 for the men, 2014 and 2015 for the women).
SwimSwam.com detailed a high level of attrition in the programs, with 39 of 84 swimmers who started their collegiate careers with UW between 2011 and 2015 leaving the teams.
Suguiyama likely will take the Badgers into their new facility at the Nicholas Recreation Center adjacent to the Kohl Center and LaBahn Arena.
That $96 million project, being constructed by UW Recreational Sports, will contain a 50-meter pool and 25-yard diving well for the Badgers. With seating for 1,200 spectators, the facility will replace the Natatorium as the Badgers' home site upon its expected completion in 2019.
Suguiyama, the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Assistant Coach of the Year in 2013-14, worked primarily with middle-distance and distance swimmers at Cal. He also has been an assistant coach with U.S. national teams, including at the 2016 Olympics, and was men's head coach for the short course 2016 FINA World Championships in Ontario.
An Ijamsville, Maryland, native, Suguiyama was co-captain at North Carolina in his senior season, 2003-04. He earned first-team All-American honors that season and was a three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference pick.