Freshman Brennan Labar scores points for the Spartans on 1-meter.
Matt Gianiodis begins his 15th overall season with the Michigan State swimming and diving teams this year. After starting at as an assistant coach in 1997, Gianiodis was promoted to head coach in October 2003.
In his 11 seasons as head coach at Michigan State, Gianiodis' teams have made their mark in the pool and in the classroom. Since 2004, 21 varsity records have been broken by Spartan swimmers and divers. The program has been represented at the NCAA Championships in 2004-05 and 2010-12. In that span, Gianiodis has also coached swimmers to the 2004 South African, the 2006 Puerto Rican national teams and the 2012 Olympic Trials.
Under Gianiodis' direction, the Spartan teams have also excelled academically. In 2006, both the men and women garnered top-20 rankings in Division I for academic performances. In 2007 the men's team again finished in the top 20 and they won the Directors Cup as a team with the highest GPA within the MSU athletic department.
"One word to sum up (Matt's) career at Bonaventure would be `overachiever'. He always worked hard and really maximized his talent throughout his entire career," former St. Bonaventure swimming coach Kevin McNamee (1978-92) said.
Gianiodis went on to earn his master's degree in history at the University of Buffalo in 1995. While in graduate school, he began his coaching career. From 1992-95, he was head coach of the Town of Tonawanda Titans Swim Club. In 1995, he earned the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Niagara District Age Group Coach of the Year Award. During that span, Gianiodis also served as a volunteer coach for the University of Buffalo men's swim team, before accepting a position at his alma mater in 1995.
"My coaching career really happened by accident," Gianiodis said. "I had the plan that I was going to get my Ph.D. in history and then teach for my entire life. However, the thrill of coaching and the ability to really mentor kids pulled me in the direction of coaching."
From 1995-97, Gianiodis served as assistant men's swimming coach at St. Bonaventure. He ran the team's stroke group and was responsible for recruiting. While at St. Bonaventure, he helped the team to a runner-up finish in 1997 and he coached multiple Atlantic-10 Conference champions.
Gianiodis was hired in September 1997 by former MSU head coach Richard Bader. During his four-year tenure as a Spartan assistant coach, the program was represented at the NCAA championships all four years. He was instrumental in all facets of the program including coordinating Spartan Swim Camps, recruiting and coaching the stroke groups.
In 2002, Gianiodis was promoted to Associate Head Coach under Jim Lutz. That year he also coached individual swimmers in his group to both the Men's and Women's NCAA Championships. After six seasons at MSU, Gianiodis was officially named head coach in 2004.
"The most important thing to me beyond everything else is that Michigan State swimmers and divers leave this program armed and ready to take on the world," Gianiodis said. "My goal for each Spartan swimmer and diver is that they take the Spartan attitude of success and carry it into their lives beyond the pool.
"I love Michigan State and it has been very good to me and my family. In turn, I think we have instilled a family atmosphere within our program. We are a family that supports and demands excellence from each other."
Gianiodis is involved in many local charities including the Special Olympics and the Children's Miracle Network at Sparrow Hospital.
A 1992 graduate of St. Bonaventure, Gianiodis was a four-year walk-on, competing in the breast and backstroke events. He was a three-time All-Eastern Intercollegiate Conference selection. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in history, English and political science. He won the Student-Athlete Academic Merit Award in his senior year.
An Amherst, N.Y., native, Gianiodis resides in Lansing with his wife, Eileen, their sons, Costa and Thomas, and their daughter, Ana.