April 22, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jeanne Fleck, Ohio State women’s swimming coach, signed a new three-year contract, Gene Smith, director of athletics, announced Friday. Fleck has won 81 dual meets since she began coaching the Buckeyes six seasons ago. Her 2003-04 team won nine dual meets, the most in her 14 seasons as a head coach that includes eight seasons at Northern Illinois.

“Throughout Jeanne’s career she has demonstrated the ability to make swimmers compete faster,” Miechelle Willis, OSU associate athletics director and senior woman administrator, said. “This year is no different. At the Big Ten championships this year we had 16 life-time bests and 11 season best times and had a freshman become the first Big Ten champion we have had since 1995. We are excited about the future of Ohio State women’s swimming under Jeanne’s direction as it begins a new era at the McCorkle Pavilion next season.”

This season, Griet Bulens became the first women’s swimmer since Jocelyn Jay in 1995 to win a Big Ten championship when she won the 200-yard butterfly. In her six season in Columbus, she has coached 25 Academic All-Big Ten selections and 57 OSU Scholar-Athletes. Fleck has geared the Buckeyes to four school records and to pool records. Her team had the highest grade point average in the Big Ten and was ranked ninth in the country following fall quarter 2003. Last summer, Gulsah Gunenc competed in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, and was the third women’s swimmer from Ohio State to compete in the Olympics.

“Ohio State is where I want to be,” Fleck said. “This is the best school in the Big Ten and I am excited to be here for three more years. Hopefully we can build a program that will keep me here for 20 years. We not only want to be the best in the Big Ten, but the best in the country. We are making great progress along those lines and move into a great new facility next year. I am excited to be able to make the move over there with this program.” The contract extension comes at an exciting time for Buckeye swimming as it will open the new Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatics Pavilion next season. The venue will serve as the host of the 2006 Big Ten Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships and in 2007, will play host to the men’s conference championship. Future plans for the facility, which replaces the Mike Peppe Pool in Larkins Hall, include events such as the NCAA championships, U.S. national championships and the U.S. Open.

Fleck, a 1987 graduate of Iowa State University, was a Big Eight champion and team captain her senior year. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education.