Working primarily with the Bears’ middle-distance and distance corps, Suguiyama, 34, has mentored some top individuals at Cal. In 2014, he helped Jeremy Bagshaw establish three school records in the distance free (500 free, 1000 free, 1650 free), Josh Prenot win a NCAA title in the 400 IM as well as break school records in the 200 IM and 400 IM and Ryan Murphy win three straight NCAA titles in both the 100 and 200 back in record times. That success continued in 2015 when Murphy was named NCAA Swimmer of the Year thanks to repeat wins in both backstroke events and Prenot won a Pac-12 title in the 400 individual medley. 2016 was no different, as Murphy won CSCAA co-Swimmer of the Year thanks to his two NCAA titles and Prenot won his first NCAA title. And in 2017, Murphy repeated that double with both NCAA backstroke titles en route to a third Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year award. The Bears captured back-to-back Pac-12 team titles in his first two years in Berkeley and at one point won 28 consecutive dual meets during Suguiyama’s time at Cal. Prenot (2013), Murphy (2014) and Andrew Seliskar (2016) were Pac-12 Newcomers of the Year, as well.
In addition to his duties at Cal, Suguiyama has served as an assistant coach for Team USA on a number of occasions. In 2016, he helped five members of California Aquatics -- Nathan Adrian, Ryan Murphy, Jacob Pebley, Josh Prenot and Tom Shields -- to spots on the U.S. Olympic Team and was selected to serve as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics. That quintet combined for nine medals, including Murphy's three gold medals and a world record in the 100 backstroke.
After assisting with Team USA at the 2016 Olympics, Suguiyama was selected to lead the United States as men's head coach at the 2016 FINA World Championships (short course) in Windsor, Canada. Under his guidance, the Americans finished well ahead of the rest of the field in medal count with 30 (men and women combined).
Suguiyama has also served on Team USA coaching staffs at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia and the 2015 World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea where Prenot won gold in the 200m IM and 200m Breast, Pebley won gold in the 200m Back and Seth Stubblefield won gold as a member of the 400m Freestyle relay.
Prior to joining the Bears, Suguiyama was the coach of the Nation’s Capital Swim Club out of the Washington D.C. area for six years and was renowned for his work with then 15-year-old Olympic champion Katie Ledecky, who won the 800-meter freestyle at both the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and the London Games.
Ledecky was not Suguiyama’s only standout. His club broke 19 Potomac Valley records, were ranked at the top nationally in 12 different events, and were on the top 100 lists all-time for 19 different events. Suguiyama was a member of the USA coaching staff for the 2012 Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Honolulu, Hawaii and was a nominee for the 2012 Coach of the Year Award by the American Swim Coaches Association.
Besides coaching the Nation’s Capital Swim Club, where Suguiyama was also a standout competitor, he competed collegiately at the University of North Carolina where he was a first-team NCAA All-American selection as a senior and was named All-ACC for three years. Suguiyama was selected as co-captain his senior year and completed his Tar Heel career holding the school records in the 1000 and 1650-yard freestyles.
During his college career, Suguiyama was named second-team District Three At-Large Academic All-America by the College Sports Information Directors of America while earning degrees in both political science and economics in 2004.
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