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The Harvard Athletics Department recently announced new head coaches for the varsity men’s tennis, women’s lacrosse, and men’s and women’s diving teams.
Men’s tennis assistant coach Andrew Y. Rueb ’95 was promoted to the role of head coach, left vacant by the retirement of David “Dave” R. Fish ’72 after 42 seasons, the Department announced on Aug. 1. The Department also announced that University of Southern California associate head coach Devon Wills would take over as the women’s lacrosse head coach. Former USA Diving Junior National Squad coach and program director at Moss Farms Diving, Chris Heaton, was announced as the new head coach of diving on August 21.
Rueb’s promotion was celebrated by many of his players, who said they were happy to see a familiar face step into the role of head coach. Captain Andy T. Zhou ’19 said he was confident in Rueb’s leadership of the team.
“A lot of people were really happy that he was able to move into the head coaching position, and I’m definitely glad that there’s going to be some continuity,” Zhou said. “He’s really well equipped and has all the experience he needs, and he’s definitely prepared to do a great job.”
Although Rueb is the only one of the three coaches with experience coaching — and also studying — at Harvard, he is not the only coach returning to familiar faces. Heaton has worked with four of the eleven divers in previous roles, coaching two athletes on their club team and another two at an Ivy League diving camp.
Nonetheless, Heaton said the first season will be full of adjustments for both him and the team.
“This is going to be a huge transition for this team, with my coaching style,” Heaton said. “It’s going to be a big transition for me stepping into the collegiate role, so really this first year is going to be just getting to know the divers and build some solid relationships and maybe tweaking the culture to more of what I’m used to or would like to see in a training environment.”
In an email, diver Austin B. Fields ’20 wrote that although he hasn’t worked with Heaton personally, Heaton’s reputation in the sport gives him confidence that he’ll help the team succeed.
“After briefly speaking with him, it was clear to me that his talent and expertise as a coach would play an instrumental role in enabling our program to reach new heights — winning diving in the Ivy League and placing at the NCAA level,” Fields wrote.
Wills, the only coach with no former experience coaching any of her athletes, said she’s enjoyed getting to know the captains and the team.
“I’ve gotten to meet a bunch, the captains have been amazing, kind of coming in and getting me up to speed with the things they’ve wanted to change, the things that they like,” Wills said. “So far everybody is really excited, and I think that’s the best thing to see as a new coach is that everybody is on the same page everybody just wants to get the same thing and achieve the same goals.”
—Staff writer Madeleine R. Nakada can be reached at email@example.com.
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