The Flames look to make their mark at the Horizon League Championships this week
Ishimaru collected three wins on the day
Ishimaru collected three wins on the day
The Flames miss the win by two points
The Flames will face back-to-back days of competition
Paul Moniak finished his 13th season at the helm of the University of Illinois at Chicago men's and women's swimming and diving programs in 2013-14.
In 13 years as head coach of the Flames, Moniak took UIC's aquatic squads from middle-of-the-pack status to serious Horizon League title contention. Under Moniak, both the men's and women's teams gained major ground in talent level, depth, and overall preparation, and the proof is in the numbers.
During the 2011-12 campaign, the men and women combined to set 14 school records, with two from the men and 12 from the women, with Melanie Waszak additionally breaking the record in the Horizon League 200 fly. A total of five NCAA "B" qualifying times were met, with three coming in the 200, 400 and 800 free relay. At the championships, three titles were taken by Daniel Corley (500 free), Luke Martinez (200 IM) and Waszak (200 fly).
In 2009-10, 16 total school records were broken under the leadership of Moniak, eight for men and eight for women. The men's program set nine NCAA 'B' cut times which is six more than any other season in school history. The men also claimed eight total league crowns, including six individual events. Senior Brian Anderson was named the 2010 Horizon League Swimmer of the Year for his three-event sweep in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyles.
The 2007-08 campaign saw nine school records become even quicker, with Giczewski lowering the 50, 100 and 200 free marks. Kelly Hashoian took control over the long distance-events in her first season as a Flame, setting new standards in the 500, 1000 and 1650 free throughout the year. Giczewski, Hashoian, Emily Hare and Kathryn McLeland also broke the 800 free relay record. On the men's squad, Andrew Schmitt dropped the 200 fly record, then joined up with Dan Hare, Evan Dunn and Brian Anderson to break the two-year old 800 free relay record.
In 2007, the Flames took home six league event championships, led by the school record holder in the 50-yard free, Blake Booher. Both the men's and women's 200 and 400 free relays were victorious at the championships, with the women's squads setting new league records at the meet. In that season alone Moniak led the Flames to All-Horizon League honors in 10 events while setting 14 new school-record times.
In 2004-05 both the men's and women's swimming and diving teams at UIC reach big-time goals, as the men's team finished third in the Horizon League for the school's highest finish since 1994 and the women's team accumulated the most points at the league championships since 1999. Moniak's superb effort in 2004-05 earned the UIC head coach Horizon League Men's Swimming Coach of the Year honors.
Moniak was recognized as the league's swimming coach of the year three times. Along with his 2005 award, Moniak was also the Horizon League Women's Swimming Coach of the Year in his first season and the conference's Men's Coach of the Year in 2003.
Moniak recruited and coached top talent from the Chicagoland area, the Midwest and the entire nation. Moniak built a solid foundation for the UIC swimming and diving program. His desire to recruit student-athletes who are committed to both the classroom and the pool was unwavering, and twice during the 2005-06 academic year both the men's and women's swimming and diving teams were awarded Academic All-America honors by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. UIC earned the CSCAA academic recognition seven times under Moniak.
Moniak came to UIC after a two-year stint as an assistant coach at the University of the Pacific, where he coached NCAA Championship qualifiers, multiple school record holders and swimmers with Olympic Time Trial standards for the Tigers. Before Pacific, Moniak served as an assistant coach for UW-Milwaukee from 1991-1999.
Besides coaching at the collegiate level, Moniak has also served as the Associate Head Coach for Tiger Aquatics in Stockton, Calif., from 1999-2001, and as the Age-Group Coach for the North Shore Swim Club in Whitefish Bay, Wis., from 1994-1999. Moniak also coaches the Chicago Masters Swim Club.
Before his coaching career, Moniak was a collegiate standout at Northern Illinois University, where he was a Midwest Conference finalist in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke events and earned the 1989 "Workhorse Award." Prior to his college career, Moniak was part of an All-American 200-yard medley relay team at Hinsdale Central High School.