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Husker History Highlights - September 29

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Pablo Morales, the Husker swimming coach, accepts the award on behalf of swimmer Therese Alshammar during the Nebraska Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony, alongside Athletic Director Trev Alberts and Woman Administrator for the athletic department Pat Logsdon, for the classes of 2020 and 2021 outside Memorial Stadium in Lincoln on Friday.

To honor Hispanic Heritage Month, Husker History Highlights will spotlight past and current Hispanic members of the Nebraska athletics department.

Nebraska head swimming and diving coach Pablo Morales will start his 22nd season with Husker athletics next month. He was an Olympic champion swimmer who at one point served as a captain for Team USA.

He’s also the son of Cuban parents who came to the United States in 1956.

"I have a great sense of gratitude for and pride in Husker nation's recognition and celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month," Morales said in a school release about Hispanic Heritage Month. "As the son of Cuban immigrants, I am proud of the courage, strength and determination behind the story of our family's move to America, a pride which extends to the infusion of all Hispanic cultures into our society and the positive contributions they have made and for their sharing of unique and vibrant traditions and perspectives that enrich all of us. I am grateful and proud that Nebraska honors Hispanic heritage in this way."

The team notched its best results of Morales’ tenure in 2021, when the team finished 26th at the NCAA Championships. Since 2015, the program has seen 14 All-American honors earned by swimmers and divers. Abigail Knapton accounted for six of those.

Morales has earned coach of the year honors in two different conferences. One came in 2004, when Nebraska was still in the Big 12. He also earned the same from the Western Athletic Conference, when he was the coach at San Jose State in 2000.

He authored one of the more illustrious swimming careers in U.S history. As a swimmer at Stanford, he won 11 individual national championships while helping the team win three consecutive NCAA titles and four conference titles.

Morales still holds the record for all-time leading individual scorer at the NCAA Championships, earning 235 total during his collegiate career.

He won five medals combined in the 1984 and 1992 Olympics, three golds and two silvers. He won individually in the 100-meter butterfly, and he was also part of a gold-winning relays in the 1984 (4x100 medley) and 1992 (4x100 butterfly). He was also a 1992 team captain for Team USA.

“I honestly believe that he is a better coach than he was a swimmer, and that is saying a lot since he was one of the best swimmers in the world,” said his old coach at Stanford, Skip Kenny. “He has done things with kids that I thought I would never see. If there is a female swimmer out there that wants to be the best in the world, I’d send her to swim for Pablo.”

 

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