Three Bulldog swimming and diving greats have been chosen to be inducted into the Georgia Aquatic Hall of Fame and include UGA diving coach Dan Laak and former UGA swimmers Paige Wilson Penze and Elizabeth Hill Newman. The induction ceremony is set for Saturday, August 19th at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
Laak is entering his 31st season as the Georgia diving coach. He was picked as the National Coach of the Year in 2006, 2008 and 2014. Laak earned SEC Coach of the Year honors in 2001, 2005 and 2006 with the men and in 2014 with the women. He has coached two divers (Chris Colwill and Laura Ryan) to five NCAA titles and also has produced 12 SEC champions. Laak was a member of the United States coaching staff for the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and served on the Brazil staff at the 2016 Games. This past week, Laak was chosen as the Team Leader for the United States diving contingent going to the World Championships in Hungary in July.
An Athens native, Penze competed for Georgia from 1990-93. She picked up 21 All-America citations and won conference titles in the 100-yard and 100-meter butterfly and the 200-meter backstroke. Penze was a two-time CSCAA Scholar All-American and earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
Newman, a native of Atlanta, swam from 2005-08 and helped the Lady Bulldogs win the national title in 2005 and the SEC championship in 2006. In 2005, Newman swam the third leg of the 800-yard freestyle relay that won the NCAA title. She finished her career with seven All-America citations and was picked as a CSCAA Scholar All-American.