The University of Pennsylvania has received a major gift to endow the head coaching position and support the university’s varsity swimming and diving program into the future.
Louis Kozloff, who graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1965 and from Penn’s medical school in 1969, and his wife Rene C. Kozloff, who graduated from Penn’s nursing school in 1967, made the gift. That gift established establish the Lou and Rene Kozloff Head Coach of Swimming position.
While the school didn’t announce the exact amount of the gift, one source tells SwimSwam that it was just over $1 million and is an estate gift.
Lou Kozloff is a vascular surgeon in North Bethesda, Maryland and swam on the varsity team at Penn. He is also a Professor of Surgery at the George Washington University Medical Center.
“Penn Athletics is thrilled to have loyal alumni like Lou and Rene, who understand the importance of supporting our swimming programs right now and in the future,” said Alanna Shanahan, C’96, T. Gibbs Kane, Jr., W’69, Director of Athletics and Recreation. “The Kozloffs’ commitment will ensure that Penn is able to retain and attract talented coaches who guide our student-athletes to success in and out of the water. We are so grateful for the Kozloffs’ enduring support of the Red and Blue.”
The Kozloffs have been active members of the Penn community for decades. Lou serves on the Penn Alumni Board, the Medical Alumni Advisory Council, and the Penn Athletics Swimming Board, and has held various volunteer leadership positions across the University. He is a member of the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame. Rene is a Class of 1967 reunion volunteer and has also been engaged in various volunteer roles in service to Penn.
“As a former Penn swimmer, this gift is immensely personal,” said Lou Kozloff. “It is an honor to contribute to the program’s growth, and to enable talented swimmers at Penn to gain valuable skills like leadership, teamwork, and time management, that will benefit them in the pool and in their professional lives after Penn.”
“We are incredibly grateful for the Kozloffs’ support. Their gift sends a vital message to our talented swimmers and divers: we believe in them, and we are committed to preparing them for success in the pool, in the classroom, and in their careers,” said Mike Schnur, Head Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Coach. “I’m humbled to be the inaugural Louis and Rene Kozloff Head Coach of Swimming—what an honor and a worthy investment for our varsity swimmers.”
Current Penn men’s and women’s head swimming & diving coach Mike Schnur has led the program for 17 seasons, and is responsible for coaching both of the school’s NCAA titles: Chris Swanson in the mile at the 2016 men’s championship, and Lia Thomas in the 500 free at the 2022 women’s championship. Both teams finished 3rd at last year’s Ivy League Championship meet.
Sophomore Matt Fallon currently leads the NCAA this season in the 200 breaststroke.
According to a Penn press release, the Kozloffs hope that their gift will “inspire others to have an impact and that their gift will serve as a launching point to encourage others to make endowment gifts of their own.”