CLEVELAND, Ohio - Paul Graham, who has spent the last 14 years as the head swimming and diving coach at Ashland University, has accepted the same position at Cleveland State University. Graham is expected to begin his duties on May 19th.
He will replace legendary coach Wally Morton, who is stepping down after 39 highly-successful seasons at CSU.
"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 administration, alumni and current athletes.
"I would like to thank John Parry, Christine Moeller and Wally Morton for this great opportunity to be listed alongside the outstanding coaches that have served the Viking swimming and diving program since its inception in 1938."
"Paul has the experience and skills to help Cleveland State continue to be successful in swimming and diving," CSU Director of Athletics John Parry said.
In his 14 years at Ashland, Graham led his teams to 13 top-20 finishes at the NCAA Championship and a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference titles. This past season, he led the men's squad to an 18th place finish at the national championships, while his women placed 20th. He took 10 swimmers to nationals this year, totaling 13 All-America honors.
From 2009-12, the women's squad finished no lower than seventh at nationals, including a fifth place showing in 2011, the best finish in program history.
The 2010 NCAA Women's Coach of the Year, Graham has coached more than 100 All-America athletes, including his women's 200 freestyle relay team that won national championships in 2010, 2011 and 2013. He also coached the women's 100 backstroke national champion in 2012 and the national champion in the men's 50 freestyle in 2007.
The GLIAC Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2010, Graham's teams have posted 32 out of 38 team records during his tenure at Ashland.
Graham's teams have also excelled outside of the pool with the women's team sporting a 3.36 cumulative grade point average and the men having a 3.12 GPA. He has mentored five Academic All-Americans, including Sean McGraw who was one of two Ashland swimmers to earn an NCAA post-graduate scholarship under Graham's direction. McGraw, who earned the honor in 2009-10, became the first AU student-athlete to receive the honor since 1991.
Two seasons ago, 23-time All-American Julie Widmann was named the Capital One Women's At-Large Academic All-America of the Year.
Graham has also coached three student-athletes who earned GLIAC Commissioner Awards, as well as an Olympic Trial participant and World Championship Trial quailifier.
Outside of the college swimming season, Graham developed the popular AU Swim School, which was a popular program tailored to teach the basics of swimming to youngsters.
Prior to arriving at Ashland, Graham was an assistant coach at Horizon League member Wright State from 1995-00, helping the Raiders to five conference championships. He directed the middle-distance and distance training group at WSU, while supervising and coordinating the university's swimming lesson programs. He was also active in recruiting and developed and implemented training plans.
Graham, who is a member of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, earned a Bachelor's of Arts in Sports Management and Marketing from Marshall in 1988 where he also competed on the swim team.
**Release courtesy of Cleveland State Athletic Communications.