Aug. 24, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio Holly Vargo-Brown, head coach of the Ohio State synchronized swimming team, named Suzanna Fernandez assistant coach of the Buckeyes. The former Suzanna Hyatt, Fernandez lettered for the Scarlet and Gray from 2000-03.

“I am thrilled with the opportunity to join Head Coach Holly Vargo-Brown in continuing The Ohio State University’s strong tradition of excellence in synchronized swimming,” Fernandez said. “As a former Buckeye student-athlete under Coaches Lichter-Witter and Vargo-Brown, the chance to be a part of the University’s coaching tradition is a dream come true.”

“Suzanna was an exceptional student-athlete during her career at Ohio State,” Vargo-Brown said. “She fully understands the commitment necessary to continue our tradition of excellence and will bring an energizing and fresh perspective to our program. I am beyond excited to welcome her back to the family.”

Fernandez, a native of Indianapolis, Ind., had a stellar career with the Buckeyes, capping her four-year stretch with 2003 U.S. Synchronized Swimming Collegiate Athlete of the Year honors and three All-America laurels. Additionally, Fernandez, along with teammate Chelsea Luker, was crowned the 2003 U.S. Collegiate Duet champions.

Having the distinction of being part of four U.S. Collegiate championship teams, Fernandez arrived to campus as a freshman in 2000 and was a member of the Ohio State “B” team, which would later be renamed the “Gray Squad.” A year later, Fernandez earned a place on the “A” team (now known as the “Scarlet Squad”) and promptly helped continue the winning Buckeye tradition as Ohio State captured its second-consecutive U.S. Collegiate championship title. The following two seasons mimicked much of 2001 as Fernandez and the other members of the “A” team won their second and third-consecutive U.S. Collegiate team titles. Fernandez and the “A” squad also dominated the North Regional Championships during that stretch, winning titles from 2001-03.

While competing for the Buckeyes, Fernandez had the honor of being named to the U.S. National Team II squad in 2001 and was a member through 2003.

Fernandez also excelled in the classroom. A three-time member of the U.S. Collegiate Academic Team, Fernandez was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and four-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete. A 2003 Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor Finalist, Fernandez was among a group of student-athletes who were recognized for proficiency in both academics and athletics. During the 2003 season, Fernandez was presented with the Leann Grimes-Davidge Award. Awarded annually, the Leann Grimes-Davidge Award is given to a female athlete who reflects Grimes-Davidge’s outstanding qualities of athletic performance, scholarship, character, campus or community involvement and leadership.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in Spanish in 2003, Fernandez served as the U.S. National Team’s Trials Routine Choreographer and Demonstrator in 2004. That same year, Fernandez began duties at Wynn Las Vegas, serving several capacities, including show performer and synchronized swimmer for “Le Reve.”

Prior to returning to campus, Fernandez was the national team coach for Preselección de Panama Nado Sincronizado, the inaugural national team of Panama.