Luther College Director of Athletics Renae Hartl has announced that Aaron Zander has been named head coach of the Luther College men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. He will begin his duties on May 13, 2019.
Zander, a 2010 graduate of Luther College, graduated magna cum laude in elementary education. He returns to his alma mater where he excelled in the pool for the Norse. During his career, the Norse captured four Iowa Conference titles and three Liberal Arts Championship titles. He swam on four different relays that claimed five Liberal Arts Championships and seven Iowa Conference titles. Zander was also crowned an Iowa Conference champion in the 200 backstroke.
“We are excited to welcome Aaron back to Luther College as our next head coach for the swimming and diving programs,” commented Hartl. “He is passionate about returning the Luther College swimming and diving programs to national prominence, but most of all for having the opportunity to enrich student-athletes lives as a coach.”
Since 2017 he has been the associate director of development at the University of Chicago. From 2015-18, he also served as head assistant men’s and women’s swimming coach at Illinois Institute of Technology, where he helped the program transition from the NAIA to the NCAA III. During his time with Illinois Tech, the Scarlet Hawks became one of the premier teams of the Liberal Arts Championships. Eight school records were broken and three NCAA III national cuts were achieved. The men were ranked as high as No. 18 in the nation during his tenure.
“I am thrilled to return to Luther as head coach,” stated Zander. “The swimming and diving teams were an exceptional part of my student-athlete experience and I am tremendously excited to lead both the men’s and women’s swimming programs.”
Zander began his career as an elementary teacher at Mid-Prairie Community School District, Kalona, Iowa; Nevada Community School District, Nevada, Iowa; and the Verona Area School District, Verona, Wis. During this time he also coached state championship teams, individual state champions and Olympic trials qualifiers at the Iowa Flyers Swim Club, Iowa City, Iowa (2010-13) and the Ames Cyclones Aquatic Club, Ames, Iowa (2013-14).
“The future is bright for the swimming and diving programs with Aaron at the helm,” stated Chris Garcia-Prats, assistant athletic director and chair of the search committee. “He brings a vision and enthusiasm that will produce a successful program and we cannot wait to have him back on campus in Luther blue as our head coach.”