In 2016-17, Lance Asti is in his fifth season as an assistant coach for the Tennessee swimming and diving program.
Asti is certainly no stranger to the Southeastern Conference, as both a student-athlete and a coach. He swam for the Vols from 1998-2001 and spent two seasons as the recruiting coordinator and sprint coach for the men's and women's swimming programs at LSU prior to arriving at UT. He previously held the same position at Clemson from 2006-10.
In the last four seasons, Tennessee's sprinters have earned three NCAA relay titles and a runner-up finish in the NCAA women's 200-yard freestyle relay last season. The team has earned seven SEC titles in sprint events, including an individual gold for Faith Johnson in the 50-yard freestyle.
"Lance Asti is one of the brightest, most respected, and most accomplished assistant coaches in the country," Kredich said. "He's a fantastic role model and is known as an innovative and energetic teacher. Lance's character, expertise, and competitiveness makes him a tremendous addition to our program."
THE FIRST FOUR YEARS
Tennessee has recorded four NCAA individual titles, 17 SEC titles and 196 All-America honors in Asti's first four years on staff.
In Asti's first season back on Rocky Top in 2013, Tennessee enjoyed strong dual meet and championship seasons as a combined program. The women's team won its first three NCAA relay titles on their way to finishing third as a team at the national meet, the best finish in program history. Meanwhile, the Vols took fourth at SECs and 16th at NCAAs.
In 2014, Tennessee's women again produced a top-10 finish, taking seventh overall at the NCAA championships. Lindsay Gendron highlighted the meet by winning the bronze medal in both the 200 freestyle and 200 butterfly, setting school records in both. The UT men again improved from the year before, finishing 15th.
At the SEC meet in 2015, the men's and women's teams improved placement from the year before, both finishing fourth in the standings. On the men's side, Sean Lehane defended his SEC title in the 200 backstroke and placed second in the event at NCAAs. The year marked a real youth movement for the men's teams with six swimmers or divers earned All-America honors for the first time.
As a former Vol himself, Asti has played a key role in maintaining program ties with swimming and diving alumni.
The LSU swimming programs enjoyed considerable success during Asti's two seasons in Baton Rouge. The men's team finished in the top five in the SEC in back-to-back seasons for the first time in 12 years, and the women put forth their best conference performances since the SEC meets in 1993 and 1994.
In his first year with the Tigers, Asti's sprinters produced five NCAA first-team All-America honors, an SEC individual title and record, four All-SEC selections and 11 medals at the conference meet.
Among the standout swimmers Asti coached at LSU are: Jane Trepp, an SEC record holder in the 100 breaststroke and a FINA world championship finalist; Amanda Kendall, a Pan-American Games record holder and a four-time gold medalist; and Hannes Heyl, an NCAA finalist in the 100 butterfly.
FAMILY & EDUCATION
Asti earned his bachelor's degree in child development in 2002 at Tennessee and received his master's in coaching education in 2003 at Ohio University, where he served as graduate assistant and sprint coach with the swimming program.
While Asti earned honorable mention All-America accolades for the Vols as part of the 200-yard medley relay team in 1999, he was even more successful in the classroom, where he was named Academic All-America and was a finalist for the SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholarship, the highest academic honor given by the conference.
Asti's wife, the former Lizzy Flynt, was a standout diver for the Lady Vols herself. She was a three-time All-American in addition to being a two-time Academic All-American at Tennessee. The couple has three children: Bryden, Gaines and Campbell.
"Lance is also a Vol for Life," Kredich said. "He was a model student athlete when he swam here and his wife Lizzy is also one of the all time great Lady Vol student athletes."