UA swim coach taking leave of absence for 'personal matters'

2013-10-23T00:00:00Z UA swim coach taking leave of absence for 'personal matters'By Ryan Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

UA swimming coach Eric Hansen has taken a leave of absence from the program to attend to what athletic director Greg Byrne says are personal matters.

There is no timetable for his return. The Wildcats opened their season last weekend at Utah.

“Coach Eric Hansen is currently attending to personal matters that require him to be away from his coaching responsibilities,” Byrne said in a statement issued this afternoon. “We wish Eric the best during this time.”

Associate head coach Rick DeMont will run the program in his absence.

Hansen took over Arizona’s program in April 2011, replacing Frank Busch. He won right away: The men’s team earned a fourth-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Championship while earning five individual national titles, and the women finished fifth at nationals. Combined, the Wildcats men and women had 26 individuals earn All-America honors. Prior to his arrival at the UA, Hansen spent 12 season as the head coach at Wisconsin.

Hansen, 47, graduated from Iowa State in 1988 and earned his master’s degree from the UA two years later.

DeMont is a former UA standout and United States Olympian who is a member of the World Swimming and International Swimming halls of fame. DeMont just began his 25th season as an Arizona assistant.

Hansen is the third UA head coach or assistant to take a leave in recent months. Book Richardson, an assistant on the UA men’s basketball team, has been gone for a month as he deals with a health issue that he classified as “not a life or death situation, but nonetheless very important.”

UA baseball coach Andy Lopez underwent quadruple-bypass heart surgery Oct. 7; he is scheduled to return to the team in mid-January.

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