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June 5, 2014

Paul Graham leaves Ashland to helm Cleveland State swim teams

By Jaclyn Seymour

Cleveland State University is welcoming Paul Graham as the new swimming and diving head coach.

Graham is taking over the position after the record-setting coach Wally Morton stepped down after 39 seasons as the head coach.

Graham told Viking athletics that he is honored to be named the new head coach.

“It is a great honor to be named the head coach at Cleveland State University,” Graham said.

“The swimming and diving program has achieved amazing success and I look forward to continuing that legacy with the help of the university, athletic program, alumni and current athletes,” Graham said.

Paul GrahamGraham is shifting from Division II to Division I as a head coach after spending the last 14 years as the head coach at Ashland University where he led his teams to 12 top-20 finishes at the NCAA Championships and two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) titles.

He has coached more than 100 All-American athletes, was named 2010 NCAA Women’s Coach of the Year, and was named GLIAC Coach of the year in 2001 and 2010.

Graham’s teams have set 32 of the 38 team records at Ashland University.

Graham coached the 200 freestyle relay-women’s team that won the national championships in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

He also coached the women’s backstroke national championship team in 2012. From 2009-12, the women’s teams placed no lower than seventh at nationals. That included a fifth-place finish in 2011 — the best in program history.

For the men, he led the 50 freestyle to the national championships in 2007. He has coached an Olympic Trial participant, World Championship qualifier and three student-athletes who earned GLIAC Commissioner Awards.

Even outside of the pool Graham has shown great success.

The women’s team combined for a 3.36 cumulative grade point average, the men’s with 3.12.

He has also prompted the AU Swim School to teach basic swimming to young children.
Graham came from Wright State University as an assistant coach from 1995-2000 to Ashland University.

He graduated from Marshall University in 1988 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sports Management and Marketing. He is also a member of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America.

Graham officially began his coaching duties May 19.