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Aaron Ciarla will be entering his third year with the University of Miami swimming and diving team, and second as Associate Head Coach alongside Christie Shefchunas.
Ciarla, named Associate Head Coach on April 4, 2012, has played a key role in Miami's success in the lanes for the past two seasons.
During the 2011-12 season, then-senior Kelsi Hall became the Hurricanes' first All-America in a decade in the 50-Yard Freestyle event at the NCAA Division I Women's Swimming & Diving Championships in Auburn, Ala. The Hurricanes had four swimmers competing at the 2013 Championships in Indianapolis, capturing 20th place overall and the third-best mark of any team in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Then-sophomore Lucy Worrall took Honorable Mention All-America honors in the 100-Yard Butterfly event at the Championships.
Ciarla, a native of Syracuse, N.Y., came to UM after spending time as an assistant coach at his alma mater of Auburn University. Ciarla received his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science, later earning his Master's Degree in Public Administration.
Ciarla spent three years (2009-11) as an assistant with the nationally renowned Tigers program, serving under head coach Brett Hawke. Last season, the Tigers' men's swimming and diving team laid claim to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) title, while later placing sixth overall in the NCAA Championships. The women's team finished eight at the NCAA Championships.
"I am honored and excited for the opportunity to join Christie [Shefchunas] and Randy [Ableman] at the University of Miami," said Ciarla. "I was drawn to the program when Christie was telling me about her goals and vision for the team, and the excitement that she showed for all the women on the squad, paired with the outstanding diving program that Randy has built over the years. It is an amazing staff that I am eager to join, learn from, challenge and partner with."
In Ciarla's second season with the Tigers' program, he was instrumental in helping the men's team achieve its 16th overall and record 14th consecutive SEC Championship in 2010. In 2009, he served as head coach for the Bahamas Swimming Federation at the World Championships where his swimmers earned nine individual and two relay national records.
"I am thrilled to have gotten as high a caliber coach as Aaron [Ciarla]," said Shefchunas, now completing her fifth year at UMiami - the most successful year for the school since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). "He has so much elite level experience - as a coach and as an athlete. I knew immediately this was someone that I wanted in our program. We had such a breakthrough this past season; I believe Aaron is a perfect fit to help us keep moving toward the top of the ACC and NCAA."
A former standout for the Auburn Tigers men's squad in the sprint freestyle, Ciarla is a seven-time NCAA champion and a 13-time All-American from 1997-2000. He was a part of the 1997 team that captured the first NCAA swimming title in Auburn history and served as co-captain for the 1999 NCAA championship squad. During the 1999 meet, Ciarla won the 50 free title and was a part of three national champion relays that broke NCAA and U.S. Open records. During the 2000 national championships, Ciarla swam the second leg of the 200 free relay that set the world record at 1:25.14, a record that stood for four years.
Ciarla served as graduate assistant coach for the Auburn men's team from 2004 to 2006 before returning to the Plains in early 2009. In total, he has been a part of six national championship squads as a student-athlete or coach.
"Miami is a world-class University in an amazing city with unlimited potential, and I am thankful to Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst and Christie Shefchunas for bringing me in and allowing me to join the `U' family."