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Duane Sorenson
Position: Head Coach
Alma Mater: Bemidji State
Graduating Year: 1977
Experience: 15 Years
Phone: (515) 294-3185
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Duane Sorenson
Release: 07/12/2006



Duane Sorenson enters his 19th season as the head coach of the Iowa State swimming and diving program in 2015-16 and returns 22 student athletes from last season’s squad that finished second at the Big 12 Conference Championships – Iowa State’s best finish at a conference championship in the Big 12 era. The Dean of Big 12 coaches, Sorenson’s swimmers have earned all-conference honors 116 times during his tenure.

During his time at the helm of the Iowa State program, Sorenson has earned a reputation for developing talent and getting his teams to compete at the highest level. Sorenson has elevated the Iowa State program to new heights, as all current school records have fallen with him as head coach.

The Big 12 Conference has recognized Sorenson for his accomplishments, naming the Cyclone head coach Co-Swim Coach of the Meet at the 2001 conference championships and Swim Coach of the Meet in 2015.

Under Sorenson, Iowa State has become one of the Big 12’s top breaststroke programs, producing 23 all-conference honors among seven swimmers. All top-10 performers in Iowa State history in the 100 and 200 breaststroke have competed under Sorenson.

In 2015, the Cyclones totaled 18 All-Big 12 honors, the most of any team in program history. Iowa State tallied seven dual meet victories on the 2014-15 season, marking the second-highest total in school history. Over the course of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, Sorenson led the Cyclones to a combined 14 dual meet wins, matching the highest consecutive two-season total at ISU. En route to a 7-4 (2-1 Big 12) record, Iowa State defeated West Virginia, TCU, Northern Iowa, Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota, South Dakota and South Dakota State.

The 2009-10 season was historic for the Cyclones, winning eight dual meets for the first time in school history. Iowa State collected victories against Iowa, Illinois State, Evansville, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Green Bay and Nebraska-Omaha before finishing fifth at the Big 12 Championships with 338 points. Iowa State broke 10 school records during the four-day event and had four all-conference performances in the pool and on the diving boards.

The 37-year coaching veteran has compiled a 97-79-1 (0.551) record in his 18 years at Iowa State. He has won six or more duals in seven seasons, including a 7-2 finish in the 2001-02 campaign, Iowa State’s best record in 20 years. Three Cyclones competed in six events at the NCAA Championships that year, including Sonja Groning, who finished 19th in the 100 fly. Ten Cyclones have competed in 30 different individual events at the NCAA Championships during Sorenson's tenure.

Since taking the position as the Cyclones’ head coach, Sorenson’s teams have not only made great strides in the pool, but have achieved success in the classroom as well. Iowa State’s grade-point average is consistently among the best in the conference and the nation.

Iowa State led the Big 12 in 2012-13 with 16 student-athletes named to the academic All-Big 12 first-team. The squad trails only the 2010-11 Cyclones for most academic honors; the 2010-11 club placed 20 student-athletes on academic teams, 15 on the first- team. The 2014-15 roster combined for 16 academic All-Big 12 first-team honorees, the most of any team in the conference that year.

As a team, Iowa State earned CSCAA Scholastic All-America team honors for the 25th-consecutive season in 2014 and two student-athletes were named individual honorable mentions.

Before coming to Iowa State, Sorenson was head coach of the South East Metro Sharks (SEMS) Swim Club. As coach of the Sharks, he received the Minnesota Chapter of the American Swimming Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year award five different times. In his 20 years with the club, Sorenson led the team to five championships and 11 runner-up finishes at state competition. More notably, he tutored 67 junior national qualifiers and 25 senior national qualifiers throughout his tenure at SEMS. From 1987-97, more than 120 of Sorenson’s swimmers graduated to the collegiate level.

Sorenson also served as the head coach for the Woodbury High School girls’ swim team. While coaching the Royals, Sorenson’s squads captured four conference titles, won four sectional championships, had one state runner-up finish and captured one state title. His accomplishments earned him the 1991 High School Coach of the Year award in the State of Minnesota.

Sorenson also served as the head girls’ swimming coach at Park/Woodbury High School (1982-85), Park Senior High (1979-81) and Tartan High School (1977-78), all in Minnesota. Sorenson coached swimmers at these schools to three sectional championships and four conference titles.

During the 1978-79 season, Sorenson was asked back to his alma mater, Bemidji State University, as an assistant coach for the men’s team. He helped guide the Beavers to a fourth-place NAIA national finish.

As a student-athlete at Bemidji State from 1973-77, Sorenson was a member of the swimming team. During his junior and senior seasons he was an NAIA All-American and co-captain. In 1976, he swam to a Northern Intercollegiate Conference championship in the 200 breaststroke.

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