Kirk Grand begins his second season as an assistant coach at Auburn in 2017. Previously the volunteer assistant coach since 2013, he was elevated to a full-time assistant coach during the summer of 2016.
The 2016-17 season had Grand’s stamp all over it. Zach Apple saw his stock rise during his sophomore season thanks in part to Grand, going from a NCAA participant as a freshman to a World Championships medalist as a sophomore. Apple also became the Auburn’s first American-born sprinter to break the 19-second mark in the 50 free, clocking an 18.93 at the NCAA Championships. Peter Holoda also saw his stock go up during the summer as he too medaled at the World Championships as part of Hungary’s 4x100 free relay team. As a program, Auburn went from a total of 11 individuals earning All-America honors to 18 in his first year.
Grand, who specialized in psychophysiology while earning his PhD from Auburn, assisted with the day-to-day functions of the Auburn swimming and diving program while the volunteer assistant. He presented evidence-based research to the team and lead mindfulness, self-talk, physiology and performance anxiety information sessions.
Grand remains a research associate for the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming at Indiana University and has also previously worked with the Longhorn Swim Camp and has been a USA Swimming Head Coach in Bloomington, Ind., designing training plans for athletes ranging from national level to learn to swim. From 2011-13 he was a head men’s high school swim coach and a swim technique instructor in Bloomington, Ind.
Grand was named the 2012 Indiana High School Athletic Association State High School Coach of the Year and the 2012 National High School Federation Sectional Coach of the Year.
Grand graduated Cum Laude from Ohio State University in 2010 after being a member of the Miami (Ohio) University swim team from 2006-08. He earned his Master’s in Exercise Physiology, Human Performance from Indiana University in 2013.
Grand has been published in multiple publications as well as the book, The Science of Swimming Faster. He has also presented at the American Swim Coaches Association World Clinic on the limits to superior performance.