2017-18 Men's Swimming & Diving Coaches
Rafael Forti Image
Rafael Forti
Head Coach - 13th Season
Alma Mater: Union, 2004
Phone: 606.546.1586


  • Rafael Forti was named to resurrect Union College's swimming program in February of 2005.
  • In 10 seasons leading the Bulldog swimmers, Forti has guided a total of 152 individuals and 44 relay teams to the NAIA Men's National Championship Meet and 104 individuals with 46 relay teams for the NAIA Women's National Championship Meet.
  • He has coached a total of 118 individual Top-16 finishes at the national championship, 63 on the men's side and 55 on the women's side, while in relays events, Forti has coached 72 teams to top-16 finishes - 37 on the men's side and 35 on the women's side. 
  • In all, Forti has coached an individual NAIA National Champion, 19 NAIA First Team All-Americans (11 men, eight women), and 23 CSCAA First Team picks (11 men, 12 women)
  • Forti's student-athletes have also been honored for their work in the classroom, as six swimmers have been named NAIA Scholar Athletes, and another 25 have placed on the CSCAA Scholar-Athlete list.
  • Also, five of his teams have been named both NAIA and CSCAA Scholar Teams, and six student-athletes have earned the NAIA's Champion of Character award, as well. 
  • Forti also serves as the Appalachian Swimming Conference's Treasurer, a position he has held since July of 2011.
  • On the national level, he is currently the President of the NAIA Swimming & Diving Coaches Association Executive Committee, and previously served as Vice President and Secretary for the Committee. Forti has also been a member of the NAIA Swimming & Diving Rules Committee, and has served on the NAIA National Rating Committee since 2009.
  • Forti is no stranger to the Bulldog swimming program, having been a member of the 1999-00 squad, the last swim team fielded by Union until the sports reinstatement in 2005. He was also a four-year member of the Bulldogs Soccer team, graduating in 2004.
  • The Campinas, Brazil native not only succeeded on the field but also in the classroom earning him such honors as three-time Academic All-Conference, and a member of the 2002 NAIA All-American Scholar Athlete.
  • Forti graduated Suma Cum Laud in 2004 from Union and was named the Salutatorian. In 2006, he received his master's degree from Union in Health and Physical Education and was the Class Marshall for his master's graduating class.
  • Prior to taking over the swimming program, Forti was the assistant coach for the men's soccer team.
Kira Gallardo Image
Kira Gallardo
Grad Assistant - 2nd Season
Alma Mater: Texas Tech. University
Phone: 606.546.1650