Ina Harizanova
Ina Harizanova

Assistant Coach

7th Season

Ina Harizanova is in her seventh year at UIC as the assistant coach during the 2005-2006 swimming and diving campaign, working specifically with the sprint group.

The Flames sped to new heights with Harizanova's coaching last season, as new school records were set in the men's 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard freestyle, the women's 50-yard freestyle, and both the men's and women's 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relays. Harizanova played a vital role in the training of Horizon League 50 free champion Blake Booher, two-time All-League finisher LeRoy Stevens, and 50 free All-League honoree Colleen Dougherty.

Along with individual accomplishments, the success of the Horizon League record-setting UIC 200 free relay team was due to the mentoring of Harizanova all season long.

Harizanova, a 1994 graduate of the National Sports Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria, established herself as a world-class athlete for her native Bulgaria from 1988-1995. During that span, Harizanova captured seven national modern pentathlon championship titles. Harizanova placed first in the world at the 1994 Modern Pentathlon World Cup and finished third in 1993.

Harizanova was also quite successful in fencing. She captured the 1994 Bulgarian Women's Epee title in fencing and the bronze medal at the 1999 USFA Division IA fencing national championships.

Outside of her swimming coaching duties, Harizanova is an accomplished fencing and pentathlon coach. She has helped children reach national status in their age groups in Bulgaria. In the United States, some of her athletes continued their training at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, or they went on to represent their individual countries in the Olympic Trials.

Harizanova's fencers have won 11 medals at the Midwest Championships since 1999. More recently she coached the women's Division I-A epee national champion in 2004. In 2005 Harizanova coached and participated on the team that won the Senior Women's Team Epee at the USFA Summer National Championships.

Harizanova joined UIC's athletic staff after serving as a DePaul University assistant rifle coach in 1997 and 1998. She helped lead the Blue Demons to first- and second-place Midwest Sectional finishes, respectively.

Harizanova, who is fluent in three languages, worked at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta as a language agent. She translated Bulgarian and Russian to English for Olympic athletes and media. She is also a UIPM certified international judge in modern pentathlon.

Harizanova earned her masters degree in Education Leadership from DePaul University in 2002.