Courtesy of Oberlin Athletics
Oberlin, Ohio – Former Oberlin College assistant swimming and diving coach Alex de la Peña is returning to the program as head coach, Associate Vice President for Athletics Advancement and Delta Lodge Director of Athletics & Physical Education Natalie Winkelfoos announced today.
de la Peña, who worked at Oberlin from 2009-2011, takes over for Andrew Brabson who has accepted the head coaching position at Caltech University.
"Of course, we are sad to see Coach Brabson go but he gave Oberlin his best every day." Winkelfoos said. "We are grateful for his leadership and how he chose to connect with our students, alumni and community. With that said, we are excited to welcome Alex back to Oberlin. I am certain Alex will further elevate the experience of our student-athletes by supporting their academic and athletic ambitions."
"Oberlin College is great because of the opportunities it provides to help students achieve their academic and career goals," de la Peña said. "I am constantly impressed with their postgrad work and accomplishments. In my time in college coaching, I have not encountered a more loyal and supportive group of alumni, and that speaks volumes about the school and this program."
Most recently, de la Peña served as head women's swimming coach and director of aquatics at Pfeiffer University (NC) where he guided the Falcons to a fourth-place team finish at the conference championship meet in 2018. Eight individuals also earned all-conference honors.
Prior to Pfeiffer, de la Peña worked at the Cleveland Sports Institute in a variety of roles, coaching swimming and strength & conditioning while serving as aquatic coordinator. He also held Division I assistant coaching positions at UNC Wilmington and Brown University from 2013-2016.
de la Peña is embarking on his third head-coaching post at Oberlin as he previously held the position at Monmouth College (IL) from 2011-13. During his tenure, the Fighting Scot swimmers produced 23 All-Midwest Conference performances, 1 Midwest Conference champion, 19 school records, and 88 top-ten times in program history.
While at Oberlin from 2009-11, he helped guide swimmers to 11 school records and 81 top-ten times. Additionally, three athletes achieved NCAA "B" cut times with one national qualifier.
"I look forward to continuing to provide the student-athletes with the best experience possible and helping the program usher in a new era with a newly refurbished Carr Pool, while still holding strong to the core values and traditions of the program," he added. "We want student-athletes that will represent us well in the pool, classroom, and community. It is my goal to improve the teams placing in the North Coast Athletic Conference and continue to become a stronger presence at the national level in the pool."
A native of Northeast Ohio, de la Peña swam collegiately at Baldwin Wallace University and was a two-year team captain while being a part of several team records and top-ten times in program history. After graduating from BW with a bachelor's degree in sport management and business administration, he went on to earn a master's degree in education administration at St. Lawrence University (NY) while working as a graduate assistant coach.
de la Peña will officially begin his duties at Oberlin on October 1.