CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland State University Director of Athletics Scott Garrett announced the hiring of Hannah Burandt as head men's and women's swimming & diving coach Monday afternoon.
Burandt, a Cleveland-area native, has spent the past six years as a Division I assistant and most recently played a significant role in the revitalization of the program at the University of Houston.
"We attracted tremendous national interest in this position, and I am pleased with our search process which included feedback from our coaches, staff, swimming & diving student-athletes and program alumni," Garrett said. "Hannah's integrity, character, positive energy, enthusiasm for Cleveland State, familiarity with Ohio and passion for delivering our mission of providing a transformational student-athlete experience are all qualities that make her the perfect fit as Cleveland State's next head coach for swimming & diving."
Burandt returns to Cleveland after spending the past four seasons as the assistant swimming and diving coach at Houston. She has played a large role in the program going from worst-to-first in just two years in the American Athletic Conference. In her first season on staff, the Cougars leapt from last place to third place as the program produced six individual conference champions. In the 2016-17 season, Houston won its first conference title in program history, winning the meet by over 100 points.
"Coming back home as the head coach for Cleveland State University is truly a dream come true," Burandt said. "I want to thank Scott Garrett, Wally Morton and the entire hiring committee for believing in the vision I have for this program. I am eager to get to campus to begin building a very special future for generations of Vikings to come."
The Cougars continued to excel since that first title, winning AAC titles in each of the past two years, as they have increased their conference championship point total in each of Burandt's four seasons. Houston sent three individuals to the NCAA Championships in 2018, the most from any school outside a Power-Five conference. Houston scored its most points (916) at a conference meet in 40 years this past season and posted 15 NCAA 'B' times while sending another student-athlete to the NCAA Championships.
Burandt also helped improve the team academic culture upon her arrival at Houston. The team grade point average has risen each of the past four years, culminating with a 3.50 mark this past year, the best in program history.
Prior to Houston, Burandt spent time on staff at both Georgetown and Louisville. She helped the Hoyas to Big East runner-up men's and women's finishes in 2015 and a combined 23 all-conference honors. While at Louisville, Burandt helped the Cardinals to men's and women's AAC Championships in 2014 along with a pair of top-15 NCAA Championship finishes. The women posted their highest NCAA finish to date that season while the men's team won two individual national titles.
Burandt began her collegiate coaching career at nearby Oberlin College where she also aided the Associate Athletic Director with facilities management and scheduling responsibilities.
"Thank you to my mentors, coaches, previous student-athletes, family and friends for your support along the way," Burandt said. "I am excited at the opportunity to honor our rich swimming and diving history and to connect with our Viking alumni. Cleveland Rocks and Go Vikes!"
"I want to welcome home Cleveland's own and CSU's newest head swimming & diving coach," said Wally Morton, legendary former head coach and special assistant to the Athletics Director. "Hannah is knowledgeable, passionate and dedicated about the sport she loves and brings the highest level of integrity. A new era has begun and it will be fun!" Morton served on the search committee in addition to athletics senior staff members Danielle Cohea, Jamar Ross, Aimee Dupree-Michael and Faculty Athletics Representative Dr. Rob Kleidman.
Burandt was a four-time Mid-American Conference champion at Eastern Michigan University and achieved NCAA 'B' cuts in the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle and 800 freestyle relay. She was a Mid-Major All-America Honorable Mention selection and helped set school records in all three freestyle relays. She also played a role in helping the Eagles claim their first two MAC titles in program history in 2006 and 2007.
A native of Parma, Ohio, and a graduate of Parma High School, Burandt graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Michigan in 2009. She proceeded to earn a Master of Science degree in sport administration from Louisville in 2018.
What They're Saying About Burandt
"I am excited to see what Hannah can do at Cleveland State. She is an exceptional coach and an even better person whose focus has always been on helping her swimmers be successful in all aspects of their lives and not only in the pool. She was a wonderful athlete here at Eastern and helped us win our first ever women's Mid-American Conference championship. It seems only fitting that the first time I saw Hannah compete when I was recruiting her was at CSU. Seeing her now return to the deck as the head coach seems to provide perfect closure to her journey from athlete to coach."
- Peter Linn, Eastern Michigan University Head Swimming Coach
"I am very excited for Hannah as she launches into the next phase of her career. She has played an invaluable role as a member of our Houston swimming and diving family over the last four years. I cannot wait to see her blossom in her new role. Cleveland State is gaining a passionate and resolute leader, and I am excited to watch her impact on the student-athletes at CSU."
- Ryan Wochomurka, University of Houston Head Swimming and Diving Coach
"This is a dynamic hire for Cleveland State University. Hannah has the knowledge, drive and strength to breathe new life into the swimming and diving program. She will serve as an incredible mentor to the men and women she leads and will prove herself to be an overall asset to the athletic department and University. Hannah is a star."
- Natalie Winkelfoos, Oberlin College Associate Vice President for Athletics Advancement and Director of Athletics & Physical Education