Oct. 28, 2004
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico women's swimming coach Bill Spahn announced today the hiring of Abel Sanchez, a 2000 Sydney Olympian and three-time All-American at the University of Michigan, as the new diving coach.
A standout diver at Michigan, Sanchez is a three-time All-American and an Academic All-American. He placed in the top-10 at the NCAA Championships twice, placing as high as fourth. Sanchez is also a three-time All-Big Ten Conference honoree. He won two silver medals at the conference championships in his career. He helped Michigan to four consecutive Big 10 titles and a national championship.
After his collegiate career ended, Sanchez continued to dive, training with Olympic coach Kenny Anderson, Jay Lerew and Olympian and World Champion Janet Ely-Lagourgue. Sanchez went on to represent Peru, his father's home country, on the 3-meter board and platform in Sydney, Australia in the 2000 Olympics. Sanchez qualified for the Olympics after claiming silver medals on the 1- and 3-meter boards and platform at the South American Championships. Sanchez was a four-time member of the Orland Diving National Team, L'Equipe National Diving team and Woodlands Diving National team. He was a two-time finalist at the U.S. Diving Nationals.
Sanchez joins the Lobos after coaching the Mission Viejo Nadadores Diving Team. He also was recently given the honor of being the meet director for the 2004 Speedo Cup National Diving Championships.
Sanchez, a Holland, Mich. native, is married to Leanne Sanchez and they are expecting their first child in December.