Hautau takes new role, rival of alma mater

By Emily Seck Technician

September 18, 2007

Raleigh, NC (CSTV U-WIRE) -- If one walked through the intramural fields on a typical weekday afternoon, chances are they would see a group of athletes running sprints and doing push-ups.

But this particular bunch is not the wrestling team, the gymnastics team or even basketball team. They are members of the diving team under the direction of first-year coach Ted Hautau.

According to Austin Hampton, a junior and All-ACC selection last year, Hautau has taken his divers away from the pool to work on their "strength to weight ratio."

"The strength-to-weight ratio is how fast you can move your body in comparison to the weight of your body," Hampton said. "We really need that because in order to be a good diver, and be agile, and get your body to move, you have to be in really good shape. We're basically going to be ripped, it's going to be ridiculous."

Hautau's unorthodox style of coaching differs from his predecessors, but according to senior Natalie Swisher, the divers are already benefiting from his creative approach.

"We've done a lot more conditioning than we've ever done in the past," Swisher said. "It's good and it will help us dive but we're all very sore right now. I think we're all walking pretty funny."

Hautau calls his coaching style "intense and demanding" but challenges his divers to prepare them for ACC competition -- something he has plenty of experience with.

Hautau was a member of two-consecutive ACC championship teams and was a frequent finalist on both boards in ACC competition at North Carolina during his college career -- where he had some interesting experiences involving N.C. State.

"My first year, in the fall, I broke my eardrum warming up for the N.C. State meet," Hautau said. "So that put me out for a month out of the season -- and that was at Carolina. Then here for the N.C. State dual meet I hit my head on the diving board. That was a pretty bad injury. I had to go to Rex Hospital -- get plastic surgery. It kept me out for the rest of the year until the summer." Upon finishing his diving career with the Tar Heels, he was named their new coach in 1992.


Under his guidance, the women won three ACC championships and the men captured two. Although Hautau experienced a great deal of success at Carolina, he left after just three short years -- which he attributes to the nature of the sport at the time.

"When I was there it was a part-time position -- very part time in terms of pay," Hautau said. "I was trying to go to school and coach, and I ended up having to work a couple other jobs on the side. It was difficult. I had an idea of where I wanted the program to go, and I wasn't on the same page with the swim coach. I wanted to develop into a national level program and they didn't want to spend the money, basically."

A year after he left UNC, Hautau was named diving coach at Davidson College -- a position he held for 12 years. In addition to his duties there, he began coaching for a local club team.

"When I moved back to Charlotte, primarily what I was doing was club coaching." Hautau said. "That's really taking a diver -- typically a beginner who's never dived before -- and teaching them from the ground up. In most of your high level college coaching, you're recruiting athletes that are already on a high level: so that was really actually a good move for me -- maybe not from the glory financial standpoint, but for me developing as a coach."

And when the Wolfpack came calling, Hautau jumped at the opportunity to inherit more experienced divers and compete against his alma mater.

"Before I went to Chapel Hill, I hated Carolina," Hautau said. "But I went on a recruiting trip and it was good for me from a scholarship standpoint, and academically it was a good fit. I enjoyed it while I was there, but it was a little bit snobbish in some ways. I like the students here -- people are a little more down to earth."

(C) 2007 Technician via CSTV U-WIRE