MONMOUTH, ILL. (05/13/2021) Jake Dacus, whose work has helped collegiate swimmers earn national recognition, has been named Monmouth College swimming and diving coach.
Dacus joins Monmouth after three seasons as the assistant men's and women's swim coach at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington. While at Pacific Lutheran, Dacus helped coach Kaycee Simpson, who won multiple conference titles and qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 100-meter breaststroke, 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter butterfly.
Dacus succeeds Tom Burek, who died in December of complications related to COVID-19.
"Obviously, I wish I was here under different circumstances," said Dacus. "I didn't personally know Coach Burek, but I had heard of him within the swimming community. Everyone loved and admired him, and I know I have very big shoes to fill here."
The butterfly was Dacus' specialty when he swam at Pacific Lutheran. His name is etched in the Lutes' top 10 lists for the 100- and 200-meter butterfly, and he was top-five finisher in both events for three seasons.
While he was a coach, Pacific Lutheran had numerous Academic All-Americans, and Dacus also oversaw the Lutes' recruiting program and database.
"Jake impressed us in the interview process with his technical knowledge and his passion for the sport," said Director of Athletics Roger Haynes. "I look forward to the stability and leadership he will provide our men and women as we prepare for next season."
Dacus said he is excited to build on a Scots swimming and diving program that did not have intercollegiate competition in 2020-21 because of the pandemic.
"I am very excited about the potential within the swim team," he said. "I am very impressed with the campus. Everything looks fantastic. This is a great program in a supportive community, and I'm excited to have the opportunity to build off what Coach Burek accomplished."
Burek led the Scots to 12 Midwest Conference individual titles over eight seasons, including four at the 2017 MWC Championships. The Scots also qualified a women's diver for the NCAA Regionals for four consecutive seasons.
"The facilities here are fantastic," said Dacus. "Definitely the best I've had the opportunity to work with. I love the look and feel of the facility, and can't wait to get started."
A Renton, Washington, native, Dacus started his coaching career in 2016 at NCAA Division III St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He spent two seasons as an assistant with the Bearcats, where he helped coach Jacob Davis, the program's first NCAA All-American and national meet qualifier.
Dacus has also coached the Valley Aquatics Swim Team in Washington since September 2018. . That position allowed him to work with swimmers aged 10 to 18 with daily workouts and instruction based on their abilities.
Dacus and his wife, Jenni, have two cats and two dogs.