Former Tulane coach looks forward to working at a bigger program
T.J. Natal completed his second year at UConn and his first season as a full-time assistant coach in 2014-15. The former Tulane head swimming coach helped guide the Huskies to another productive year this past spring, as a total of 18 Huskies earned American Athletic All-Conference honors.
Both the men's and women's teams finished with winning records in dual meet action, and UConn set several program records at the 2015 American Athletic Championships. In Natal's first two seasons in Storr, the Husky swimmers have notched 27 All-Conference selections.
In his first season with UConn, the Connecticut men's swimming and diving team finished a perfect 6-0 in dual meets, while the women's swimming and diving team saw several strong performances at the Conference Meet.
Natal was an assistant coach for the Green Wave for two years before becoming the interim head coach for his final year there. Before Tulane, Natal held coaching positions at several places. He coached the men's and women's swimming team at the University of New Orleans, where he helped eight swimmers earn NCAA B Cuts and had several top eight finishers at the Sun Belt Conference Championship Meet during the 2009-10 season.
Prior to New Orleans, he coached the USS Elmwood Sharks in Harahan, La. Under his guidance, 22 swimmers qualified for sectionals, while four swimmers qualified for Junior Nationals.
Natal, who is from the New Orleans area, began his coaching career at Jefferson Country Club, serving as the head coach there until 2007. His own swimming career took off at Archbishop Rummel High School, as he was a four-time all-district honoree and claimed all-state honors three times. In his junior year he won the state title in the 100-meter freestyle, and as a senior he won the title for both the 100 and 50-meter freestyle.
While swimming for the Sharks he made six Junior National cuts and one Senior National cut. After transferring from Loyola University, he swam for Louisiana State University from 2001-03. He would later complete his bachelor's degree from Our Lady of Holy Cross in 2006.