BATON ROUGE, La.—The LSU Swimming and Diving program has added Jeana Fuccillo and Cory Chitwood as assistant coaches, as announced by Swimming Coach Dave Geyer and Diving Coach Doug Shaffer on Monday.
“I am thrilled to have both Cory and Jeana join our program,” Geyer said. “We were put into a tough spot losing some staff members during the school year, and having both of them choose to take this position truly speaks volumes for the program, department and LSU as a whole.”
Fuccillo was a four-year letterwinner at UCLA from 2003-2007, and previously served as an assistant coach at Northern Arizona for two seasons. LSU will be the first collegiate coaching experience for the former University of Arizona standout Chitwood, winner of three consecutive NCAA Championships in the 200 backstroke from 2010-12.
At NAU, Fuccillo’s swimmers posted 14 NCAA ‘B’ cuts and broke 14 school records. In addition, 28 program all-time top-five swims were registered.
NAU posted two top-three finishes at the WAC Championships with Fuccillo as an assistant coach, including a second place finish in 2012. Four NAU swimmers were named CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major All-Americans during the 2011-12 season. The swimmers won five individual titles during the 2012 WAC Championships.
During her time in Flagstaff, Fuccillo also worked with developing the training schedule and dry land programs, organizing recruiting logistics and coordinating alumni relations.
Fuccillo was a four-year letterwinner at UCLA. She helped lead the Bruins to a pair of second-place finishes at the Pac-12 Conference during her career. She was a three-time top-eight finisher at the Pac-12 Championships and served as team captain her senior season.
Following her collegiate swimming career, Fuccillo worked as an academic graduate assistant in the NAU athletic department while pursuing her graduate studies in the college of education.
Fuccillo, a native of St. Louis, Mo., was an Athletic Director’s Honor Roll selection at UCLA and earned her undergraduate degree in sociology in 2007. She completed her master’s degree in educational psychology and human relations at NAU in December 2009.
“I believe Jeana has a great blend of experiences that she draws upon to form a style that works well for her,” Northern Arizona Head Coach Andy Johns said. “From her club experiences to her college student-athlete experiences at UCLA, to her graduate assistant position in academics at Northern Arizona, to her full-time work with the Northern Arizona women’s team, she has always shown a willingness to put in the work necessary to be successful. She’s also open-minded and anxious to learn new things from different people. When you combine all of that with Jeana’s passion for the sport of swimming, you’ve got all of what it takes to be a great coach.”
Chitwood arrives at LSU with a spectacular track record as a collegiate swimmer, and comes highly recommended by USA Swimming National Team Director Frank Busch.
“I’ve known Cory and his family a long time,” Busch said. “I’ve watched him develop and coached him for years at Arizona. His knowledge is second to none. He is one of those athletes who understood things immediately. He was really in tune with the sport, much more than your average college athlete.”
Chitwood served this past year as the Northern Kentucky Clippers club team’s Head Assistant Coach, specializing with the elite 11-12 and 13-14 year old age groups.
On the international stage, Chitwood was a member of the United Sates Swimming National team and finished 10th in the 200-meter at the US Olympic Trials.
At the University of Arizona, Chitwood was a 14-time collegiate All-American and was named to the Pac-10/12 All-Academic team on four occasions. He also served as men's team captain during his junior and senior campaigns. He holds the second fastest 100 back, 200 back and 200 individual medley times in Arizona school history.
Chitwood will provide LSU swimmers with an insight into what it takes to find success on the highest levels of competition. He will work predominately with the mid-distance and specialty stroke swimmers in his first season.
Chitwood, a native of Union, Ky., earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology in May of 2012 from Arizona.