STORRS, Conn. - University of Connecticut swimming coach Bob Goldberg announced two coaching moves on Tuesday, as T.J. Natal has been promoted to a full-time assistant coach, while Maiya Otsuka has been added as an intern assistant coach.
Natal, who spent last season as an intern assistant coach for the Huskies, arrived in Storrs after three years at Tulane University. He served as an assistant coach for the Green Wave for two seasons before becoming the interim head swimming and diving coach of the program in 2012.
The former Louisiana State University swimmer also held coaching stints at the University of New Orleans and at the Elmwood Fitness Center in Louisiana. 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.
“T.J. was a great find for us last year,” Goldberg said. “He was tremendously overqualified and we were lucky to get him here as an intern. It’s a real plus for us to have someone with his experience and background.”
Otsuka was a two-time captain at the University of Utah, where she holds school records in the 200 breaststroke, 400 individual medley and the 400 medley relay. She earned All-Mountain West Conference honors in each season for the Utes, and in the 2008-09 season she was named a MWC Scholar Athlete.
Otsuka comes to Connecticut following a two-year assistant coaching stint at Texas A&M. While with the Aggies, Otsuka helped with on-deck coaching duties during each practice, and prior to her time with Texas A&M, she served as a fifth-year assistant coach for the Utes.
“Maiya has great experience after coaching at Texas A&M and Utah,” Goldberg said. “She was a high-quality Division I swimmer with the Utes and I know that will pay off for us down the road.”
The UConn women’s swimming and diving team kicks off its season on Oct. 18 with a home meet against Yale, Central Connecticut, Rhode Island, and both teams are in action less than a week later on the road against Villanova on Oct. 24.