Wisconsin Names Kowalski Assistant

Daniel Kowalski, a four-time Olympic and three-time World Championship medalist for his native Australia, has been named assistant swimming and diving coach at the University of Wisconsin, head coach Eric Hansen announced Wednesday. Kowalski's appointment begins on July 1, pending visa approval. It was visa problems that cost former Northwestern assistant Jocelyn Jay her position.

"I am thrilled that we are adding someone with Daniel's background and level of accomplishment," Hansen said. "He has been to the top of the swimming world as an Olympic gold medalist. Our student-athletes will benefit greatly from his coaching and his experience."

Kowalski currently serves as technical coordinator for swimming with the 2007 World Swimming Championships Corporation. His responsibilities include serving as liaison with national swimming federations and coaches to ensure that all technical requirements (biomechanics, recovery techniques, sports science, relay changeovers and time trials) are met. He also troubleshoots for national federations in the athlete preparation are during swimming competition. He served that organization previously as coordinator of marketing and communications.

Kowalski spent 2004-05 serving as general manager of the Melbourne branch of Grand Slam International, a sports / athlete management and events company. In this role, he coordinated athlete appearances and events; obtained sponsorships for GSI athletes; and served as a mentor to swimmers such as Ian Thorpe, Libby Lenton and Leisel Jones.

Kowalski, a member of the Australian swim team from 1993-2002, was a member of his nation's gold medal-winning 800-meter freestyle relay team at the 2000 Olympic Summer Games in Sydney. He won three medals at the 1996 Olympic Summer Games, including a silver in the 1500-meter freestyle, and a bronze in both the 400 and 200-meter freestyle.

Kowalski won gold (800m freestyle relay) and bronze (1500m freestyle) medals at the 1998 World Championship in Perth. He took home a silver medal (1500m freestyle) at the 1994 World Championship in Rome. In addition, he won two gold medals (400m and 800m freestyle), a silver (1500m freestyle) and a bronze (200m freestyle) at the 1995 Pan Pacific Championships in Atlanta. He also won a gold medal with a world record-setting 800-meter freestyle relay team, as well as two bronze medals (200m and 400m freestyle), at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia.

Kowalski was captain and member of the leadership group for the Australian swim team from 1995-2001. He earned the Order of Australia Medal for his service to swimming and was voted the "Swimmers' Swimmer" by his peers in 1995, 1996 and 1997.

Kowalski has also served as team liaison to the Australian swim team in 2004 and 2005. A role created for him by Swimming Australia, Kowalski mentored athletes, helped coordinate various team activities and assisted coaches. Since 2005, Kowalski has also served on the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) Athletes Commission. He was a United Nations Goodwill Sports Ambassador from 1997-2004. In that role, he addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York City in December of 1999 on behalf of the world's athletes in an appeal for peace during the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney. He also was a guest of honor on a United Nations Goodwill Mission in Southeast Asia, where he visted refugee camps on the Cambodian border and later addressed schoolchildren in his home country about the plight of refugees.

Kowalski earned a bachelor's degree in health science (sports marketing and management) from Bond University (Australia) in 2003.