Swimming & Diving Coaches
Men's Swimming Head Coach
- The Ballatore File
- Five-time Olympic Coach (U.S.A., 1984 and 1998; Peru, 1968; Ecuador, 1972; Israel, 1976)
- Coached 28 Olympians, who have won 12 medals, including 10 gold
- 1995 U.S. National Team Camp Coach
- Three-time World Championship Coach for U.S.A.
- Four-time Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year
- Coached UCLA's men's team to 1982 NCAA Championship
- Coached collegiate swimmers to 26 NCAA titles
Ron Ballatore enters his third year as the head men's coach at Florida and his 32nd year of collegiate coaching. In Ballatore's first two seasons at UF, 12 different Gators have captured a total of 34 All-America honors. During Ballatore's first season in Gainesville, eight Gators qualified for the '97 NCAA Championships with all eight earning All-American accolades. Last season, seven of eight Florida swimmers captured All-American honors at NCAA's. In the summer '97, Ballatore coached then-UF swimmers Sean Justice and Chuy Gonzalez to spots on the World University Games team for their respective countries, with Justice placing seventh at the WUG in the 800 free. Among Ballatore's initial two recruiting classes at Florida there are three 1996 Olympians and several world-class swimmers, promising a bright future for the UF program.
A five-time Olympic coach, Ballatore was the men's head coach at perennial power UCLA for 16 years, before the program was disbanded in 1994. He led UCLA to the 1982 NCAA Championship title, while his swimmers captured 26 NCAA event titles and 62 Pacific-10 Conference event titles.
In addition to the 1982 NCAA team title, UCLA posted a top-five finish at the NCAA Championships 10 out of 16 years under Ballatore and were in the top-10 15 times. Ballatore was named Pac-10 Conference Coach of the Year four times, and also boasted a 98 percent graduation rate while at UCLA. Between his two coaching positions at UCLA and Florida, Ballatore has coached seventy-one different swimmers and divers who have earned All-American honors at least once.
Prior to his term at UCLA, Ballatore coached at Pasadena City College from 1967 to 1978, with his teams claiming 10 conference championships, seven Southern California Junior College titles and five state Junior College Championships. Ballatore was five-time Junior College Coach of the Year selection.
In addition to his collegiate coaching achievements, Ballatore has been selected for numerous international and national coaching assignments, including: 1995 U.S. National Team Camp; 1994 World Championships (U.S.A.); 1988 Olympics (U.S.A.); 1984 Olympics (U.S.A.); 1982 World Championships (U.S.A.); 1976 Olympics (Israel); 1975 World Championships (U.S.A.); 1975 Pan-American Games (U.S.A.); 1972 Olympics (Ecuador); and 1968 Olympics (Peru). Ballatore has coached 28 Olympians who have won 12 medals, including 10 gold. One of his swimmers, four-time Olympic gold medalist Tom Jager, still holds the world record in the 50-meter freestyle.
Ballatore is married to Ann Claire and has five children: Lisa (31), Brent (29), Ronald (12), Jenne (10), and Angelina (8). Ballatore received a B.S. from SIU-Carbondale in 1962 and his Master's degree in Educational Psychology from Azusa Pacific (Calif.) in 1975.