Phil Kraus begins his first season as assistant swimming coach for the men's and women's swimming and diving teams at the University of South Carolina. Kraus comes to USC after serving four years as an assistant for the women's swimming and diving team at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
"Phil is a great addition to our staff here at South Carolina," said USC head swimming coach Don Gibb. "He has a positive and upbeat attitude and has been exposed to a program that won conference championships. There is a tremendous upside with him and he will really make an impact on our program."
Kraus' primary duties at Miami(Ohio) included serving as the recruiting and travel coordinator as well as heading up the sprint group. The RedHawks won the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championships in all four seasons he served as an assistant, along with posting an incredible 49-5 (.907) overall record and a 32-0 record in the MAC. Also during Kraus' tenure, the RedHawks broke 12 school records and achieved 9 NCAA "B" standard cuts. Miami also had an individual compete at the 2003 NCAA Division I Championships and another who competed at the 2004 Olympic Trials. In addition, the team did well academically as they were named an Academic All-American team every semester by the College Swim Coaches Association. Individually, 14 ladies were named to All-Conference teams, 7 were named to Academic All-Conference teams, 5 were named Academic All-Americans and 1 was a CoSIDA Academic All-District IV First Team selection.
Kraus spent two years as an assistant coach for the Northern Illinois men's and women's swimming and diving teams under head coach Annemarie (Wozniak) Stricklin (an All-American for USC). Kraus' duties included coordinating recruiting, team workouts, travel and fundraising. In his time there, the Husky men's and women's teams combined to have a co-MAC Swimmer of the Year and 5 All-MAC selections, while setting 15 school records in the process. In Kraus' last year in DeKalb, the Northern Illinois men posted their second-best record (11-3) in team history.
From 1997-99, Kraus was the head swimming and diving coach at Lebanon High School. In that time, he tutored five state qualifiers, two academic all-state selections, and three school records were broken under his watch. Kraus also was head swimming coach at Woodland Country Club, which under his tutelage won the Interclub Championship in 1996, the first time the club accomplished the feat in 25 years.
A four-year letter winner at Ball State, Kraus graduated in 1997 with a degree in secondary education. He was named academic all-MAC twice as a Cardinal. Kraus' brother, Leonard, is the head women's swimming coach at Marshall University.