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Kunio Kono
Kunio Kono

Associate Head Coach

Eighth Season

Alma Mater:
Alabama '03

Kunio Kono begins his eighth season with the Rebel swimming program, and this past summer was elevated to the position of associate head coach.

Kono coaches the men's and women's sprint group. While at UNLV, He has coached seven swimmers to All-America honors, and sent several swimmers over the past five years to the World University Games, World Cup, Pan Pacific Championships, Pan American Games, the European Championships and three swimmers to the Beijing Olympics.

Kono joined the Rebels from the University of Alabama, where he spent two seasons as a graduate assistant coach. He was responsible for coaching the sprint groups and assisted in the recruiting efforts. Kono coached three men and two women to All-America honors, and the Tide men had their highest national finish since 1994, taking 12th place. The women posted their highest finish since 1996, taking 15th at the NCAA meet.

During his tenure at Alabama, Kono was also the head coach of the Masters Swim Team. He coached eight of the highest point scorers in different age groups and led his team to the Alabama State Masters Meet title in spring 2003.

From 1994-2001, Kono served as the men's and women's swimming operations manager at the University of Arizona. During those seven seasons, the Wildcat men's swimming program went from a No. 16 national ranking in 1994 to No. 3 in 2000. Kono also helped the women's team into the top-five in the nation for several years and to the highest finish in Arizona's history, when it finished second at NCAA in 2000. In his time at Arizona, he helped coach 15 men and 16 women to All-America honors and coached seven student-athletes that went on to participate in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

Kono spent the 1993-94 season as a volunteer assistant coach with the USC Trojans Swim Club and coached several swimmers who went on to compete in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics.

Kono is a 2003 graduate of the University of Alabama with a master's degree in health science. He earned his undergraduate degree in visual communication from the University of Arizona. He is married to Miho Kawabe, bronze medalist in synchronized swimming at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. They reside in Las Vegas and have one son, Yushi.

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