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Swimming & Diving Coaching Staff
Doak Finch
Associate Head Coach
Coach Info:
Position: Associate Head Coach
Alma Mater: Virginia '00
Phone: (919) 684-6285

Doak Finch enters his third season on the Duke swimming and diving coaching staff after joining the program as an assistant coach in September, 2016. He was promoted to associate head coach in July, 2017. 

A program record 12 women's swimmers and divers represented Duke at the 2018 NCAA Championships, with seniors Leah Goldman (100-yard butterfly) and MaryEllen Targonski (platform diving) capturing honorable mention All-America honors. Distance specialist Verity Abel made her second career NCAA appearance as a senior, earning a top-25 finish nationally in the 1,650 freestyle. At the ACC Championships, Goldman claimed the first individual conference title for the women's program since 2012, bringing home the hardware in the 200 individual medley. Under Finch's guidance, the Blue Devil women rounded out the year ranked among the top 25 in the final TYR/CSCAA Division I poll of the season, while the Duke men also scored at NCAAs behind honorable mention All-America performances by divers Nathaniel Hernandez (platform) and Evan Moretti (one-meter springboard). 

In his first year with the Blue Devils, Finch saw both the men's and women's programs place at the 2017 NCAA Championships. Senior Peter Kropp captured first team All-America honors in the 100 breaststroke and Targonski took home honorable mention All-America accolades on the platform. Goldman collected a top-20 finish in the 100 butterfly at NCAAs after she and Kropp both earned All-ACC honors at the conference championship. Multiple Finch-coached athletes also excelled at ACCs, with junior Matt Johnson and freshman Roger Kriegl both posting top-eight finishes in the 1,650 freestyle in a pair of record-breaking performances. Kriegl also took down a program record in the 500 freestyle while at the women's meet, Abel was eighth in the mile and eclipsed the school record in the 400 individual medley. 

During the 2016-17 regular season, the Duke program made history as both squads defeated North Carolina in dual meet action. The men topped the Tar Heels for the first time since 1939 and the women for the first time in program history. 

Finch came to Durham after spending three seasons as an assistant coach at Penn State. During that time, he helped guide the Nittany Lion women to top-25 finishes at the 2014, 2015 and 2016 NCAA Championships, and the men to top-25 showings at the national meet in 2014 and 2015. As the program's long group coach, Finch directed his athletes to six individual school records. His responsibilities included writing daily practices, designing seasonal training plans, serving as the team's academic liaison and assisting with all aspects of recruiting. 

Prior to his tenure with the Nittany Lions, Finch spent the previous 12 seasons as an assistant at the University of Virginia, primarily overseeing the distance swimmers. Under his watch, the Cavaliers' distance group had a standout 2012-13 season, with Kelly Offutt sweeping the women's distance events at the ACC Championship and Brad Phillips and Jan Daniec adding individual titles in the 500 and 1,650-yard freestyle. 

The Virginia men and women took home six straight ACC crowns from 2008-13, while the men went on to place top 10 at NCAAs three times in that span (2009, 2010, 2011) and the women once (2010).

Finch also served as the Cavaliers' middle distance and stroke group coach from 2001-06, during which time the men's program won six consecutive ACC championships and the women captured two in 2003 and 2004. 

In addition to his coaching duties at Virginia, Finch was involved in all aspects of recruiting and served as assistant camp director, coach and counselor for Virginia Swim Camps.

Finch also boasts coaching experience at the national level with USA Swimming, overseeing athletes who qualified for the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

An All-America performer during his own collegiate career, Finch starred for the Cavaliers from 1996 to 2000. During his sophomore, junior and senior years, he was selected team captain and was one of the team's top butterfly and individual medley swimmers. He was named to the ACC's 50th Anniversary Men's Swimming and Diving Team in August of 2002, and remains ranked among the top 10 on Virginia's all-time top performance list in the 200 butterfly.

Finch concluded his career at Virginia as an 11-time NCAA All-American and an 11-time ACC event champion, capturing eight ACC titles as an individual and three as a member of Cavalier relays. He was named the 1997 ACC Rookie of the Year and MVP of the 1998 ACC Championship meet. He became the 14th individual to win four consecutive ACC titles in the same event in 2000 (400 IM).

Finch placed seventh at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200 butterfly, and also represented the United States at the 1999 World University Games in Palma, Spain, where he finished sixth in the 200 butterfly.

A native of Southern Pines, N.C., Finch graduated from Virginia in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in economics.