AUSTIN -- University of Houston officials say head swimming coach Mark Taylor had died of an apparent heart attack in Austin, where he was attending the NCAA women's championships.

Athletic Director Mack Rhoades said in a statement Saturday that Taylor "was a terrific coach and an even better person." The school says the 50-year-old Taylor died late Friday. He had just completed his ninth season.

Taylor had seven top 30 NCAA finishes and was named Conference USA coach of the year in 2009. He came to Houston from international competition, coaching teams in Denmark and Iceland. He also coached the 1996 Olympic games for Lithuania. He was an assistant coach at Arizona State for five seasons.

Taylor is survived by his wife, Lorraine, and two sons, Troy and Zane.