CLEVELAND – Cleveland State University announced that Kevin Rapien has been named the acting head coach for men's and women's swimming & diving programs.
Rapien has served as an assistant coach for the past seven seasons, helping both CSU programs to numerous successes in and out of the pool.
"We will continue to pursue excellence in the classroom and pool with the support of the coaching staff, athletic department, University and our extended Viking family," Rapien said. "We are looking to build on last year's successes at the Horizon League Championship starting this Wednesday."
Rapien helped the Vikings to one of the most successful seasons in his tenure in the 2017-18 campaign.
The CSU women took third place with 586 points at the Horizon League Championships, finishing only seven points behind the runner-up. The Vikings improved two spots from the previous season, and four places in two years, while finishing three positions higher than projected in the preseason poll. The Cleveland State women broke school records in nine of the 18 swimming events at the 2018 League meet.
Leading that record-breaking effort was Molly McNamara, who took home impressive hardware with Rapien's assistance. McNamara was named the Horizon League Women's Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Year, the first Viking to win that honor in over a decade. She was also named HL Female Scholar-Athlete of the 2017-18 Winter Season.
Rapien helped the CSU men to a strong runner-up finish with 665.5 points in 2018, as the Viking men surpassed NCAA standards in eight different events at the League Championships. Both the men's and women's point totals from the League meet were the highest in five years.
The Cleveland State programs have also performed well outside the water with Rapien's assistance. Both programs were recently named Scholar All-America Teams by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America for the sixth straight semester. Both CSU programs led the Horizon League in grade point average this past fall while ranking among top 20 percent in Division I. Six Vikings were named Scholar All-Americans after the 2017-18 season.
Rapien made an immediate impact upon arrival at CSU as he helped the Vikings to the Horizon League men's title in 2013, the program's first in seven years. He also guided the women's program to a runner-up finish at the league championships the same year and has helped the men's program to four runner-up finishes in his tenure.
Rapien has helped the Viking men sweep HL Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Year and the Swimmer of the League Championships honors in four of his seven years on staff. He helped Philipp Sikatzki to the highest accolade in program history when he earned First Team All-America accolades with a fourth-place finish at the 2016 NCAA Championships in the 100 Butterfly. Sikatzki qualified for NCAA's for a second consecutive season in 2017.
Rapien has played a large role in aiding his student-athletes as they have secured 40 conference titles (individual or relay races) in his tenure.
Prior to arriving at Cleveland State, Rapien spent the prior two seasons as the top assistant coach at the University of North Dakota. Rapien also spent one season as an assistant coach at Delta State University early in his coaching career.
As a collegiate swimmer, Rapien was a four-time letterwinner and team captain at Ashland University.
A native of Hamilton, Ohio, Rapien earned a Bachelor of Arts in finance from Ashland in 2007.
Former head coach Paul Graham announced his resignation from the University.
Cleveland State will return to action at the 2019 Horizon League Championships in Indianapolis. The four-day meet begins Wednesday, Feb. 13.