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New Swimming and Diving Coach


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Gary Taylor is out. Hopefully we can do something to get S&D back to where it should be. 

 

I've heard talk about trying to get David Marsh back or at least see if he would be willing to be part of the search. I don't know the man personally, so I don't know how that would work out. But he is an alum and certainly spent enough time at AU, so I would have to believe he would want to see AU move in the right direction.

 

He's now an Advisor for Israel Swimming Association so maybe he's not involved in USA Olympic Swimming any more. Which makes me wonder if he's a hard person to work with. He's still fairly young really, as far as coaches go. Like I said, I know absolutely nothing about him personally, so I am obviously not someone who has an educated opinion as to how to best try to get him involved. But from a far away fans perspective, it seems like he could help us in some way. He's got to be very connected in the sport.

 

AD Allen Greene has shown a great ability to do good things, so I'm sure he's all over it. We have a lot to offer, it's always easier to build a program that has a history of many national championships.

 

gabo

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Bring Marsh home! This has gone on long enough. He’s one of the greatest coaches in Auburn history. Give him the facilities and resources that he wants and let’s get back to winning National Championships!

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2 hours ago, CameronCrazy said:

Bring Marsh home! This has gone on long enough. He’s one of the greatest coaches in Auburn history. Give him the facilities and resources that he wants and let’s get back to winning National Championships!

Certainly hard to argue with that logic!  👍

 

gabo

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Very unlikely Marsh comes back. I take it as a good sign AD Greene is not sitting on an underperforming program and making a change. Found the below article interesting. 

 

BY BRADEN KEITH 74

April 19th, 2021Coaching Changes, College, News, SEC

Yet another big-time college head coaching position has opened up, with the announcement on Monday that Auburn and head coach Gary Taylor are parting ways “mutually.”

Auburn was the country’s dominant program throughout the 2000s in collegiate swimming & diving, but there’s some question about where the gig ranks in the echelon of college swimming positions now. A decade ago, it would be comfortably top 3. Now, after two head coaches leaving under less-than-positive circumstances, it probably can’t claim that anymore.

It also used to come with a dominant salary, which has equalized more with other top programs in the last few years.

While no longer holding status where every coach in the country will at least think about applying (like what we’re seeing with the Texas men), Auburn is still a top 15, or even top 10, job. It’s a destination – a gig that any associate head coach or mid-major head coach would take and hope to be their last coaching job.

The school also has strong incoming freshmen classes, with #19 Nate Stoffle, HM Jacques Rathle, and BOTR Henry Bethel coming in this fall on the men’s side, and #14 Rebekah Hamilton, #19 Ellie Waldrep, and HM Abby McCulloh coming in on the women’s side.

The first names that are going to jump to everyone’s mind when they think of “alumni coaches” aren’t going to happen – Dave Marsh, who built the Auburn empire, and Dave Durden, the head coach at Cal.

There are, however, a lot of really qualified coaches who make sense here – either because of Auburn ties or being in Auburn’s general aura via the SEC. The swimmers from that golden era of Auburn swimming are now all coming into their own as coaches, which leaves a wide talent pool to choose from.

There are two names that we view as the obvious front-runner, but below we’ve laid out a list of 6 top candidates for this job. The top 3 probably have a pretty big gap ahead of the rest of the group here.

(A shakeup at Texas could rewrite this story, but most observers expect Wyatt Collins, their assistant, to get the promotion).

The Auburn Athletics Director Allen Greene doesn’t have any deep swimming roots that would obviously impact this decision – like we’ve seen at other programs, including rivals Alabama. His previous stop was at Buffalo, which recently cut its men’s team, and before that he worked at Ole Miss and Mississippi State, neither of which have swim programs. At 43, he’s one of the youngest Power 5 ADs in the country, and he came to Auburn in 2018, well after the peak of Auburn swimming had passed. He is the AD who hired Gary Taylor, though, so maybe we’ll see a reaction to that via a preference for an individual with head coaching experience.

WILD SPECULATION ON TOP CANDIDATES FOR AUBURN HEAD COACHING GIG

1. Ryan Wochomurka, University of Houston head coach – This one seems like the most obvious choice. Wochomurka is an alum who was a member of national championship teams in 2003, 2004, and 2005. After graduating, he quickly rose to associate head coach at Louisville when that program was rising to prominence, and he’s now built a powerhouse mid-major women’s program at the University of Houston that has won 5 straight AAC conference championships. The Cougars have had 7 individual invites to the NCAA Championships in the last 2 seasons (which is the same number as the Auburn men have had).

Aside from being head coach of a combined-gender team, Wochomurka has checked pretty much every box to demonstrated preparedness for a gig like this. With the ties as an alumnus, he seems like the obvious front-runner for the position (and other alums have expressed support for him as well).

2. Mark Gangloff, North Carolina head coach – Yes, North Carolina is a great job. Yes, Gangloff has in just 2 seasons shown success there in his first NCAA head coaching gig. Yes, that would be a short stint to hop so quickly. But, Gangloff is one of the great Auburn swimmers, and he might not get another chance to return to his alma mater. He’s also very popular among his peer group (of Auburn alumni), so there will be some weight for his return.

3. Ozzie Quevedo, Alabama associate head coach – We don’t really know what’s going on at Alabama with the inexperienced Margo Geer taking over as head coach next season. But if her jump is a signal that Quevedo will be looking elsewhere, Auburn is a logical fit. Quevedo was an assistant at Auburn from 2013-2016. He’s also an alum, having earned 6 All-America honors and an NCAA title while with the Tigers. With a stop at Florida State between his Auburn and Alabama gigs, he’s been around big time programs. Quevedo doesn’t yet have collegiate head coaching experience, though.

4. Jeff Dugdale, head coach at Queens University – Another alumnus with strong ties to David Marsh and the David Marsh era, Dugdale has built the singularly-dominant program at the Division II level of NCAA swimming. While D2 swimming to D1 swimming isn’t the same gap as we’d see in many sports, like football, it’s still a whole different ball game. Prior to Queens, Dugdale was a coach at SwimMAC, and also spent a few years as an assistant coach at Duke. Dugdale won three letters at Auburn from 1989 through 1991 (prior to the golden years), and out of college he spent some time coaching at Auburn.

5. Stefanie Williams Moreno, Georgia associate head coach – At this point, I’m fully convinced that Williams Moreno is waiting for head coach Jack Bauerle to retire and will then take over at Georgia. But, she’s still a top candidate for every job that opens up, especially in the SEC. A great swimmer for Georgia, and now a stout coaching resume between Ohio State and Georgia, Williams Moreno also doesn’t have head coaching experience.

6. Gideon Louw, Auburn assistant coach – Things were pretty messy during Taylor’s tenure as head coach, with 9 athletes entering the transfer portal this season alone. That could mean the AD will want to clean house and get a fresh start. That being said, Louw is one of the best sprinters in program history, has shown the ability to coach sprinters via his work with Bowe Becker at Minnesota, and was a member of the last Auburn NCAA Championship team. It feels like Louw would maybe need to head elsewhere for a few more years of seasoning and then circle back to land as Auburn’s head coach.

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I hope we can bring this program back. My son swam for Auburn with David Marsh. It’s sad to see how very far this once dominant program has sunk. I too was shocked to see we had 9 swimmers in the transfer portal. We need to start hanging banners again. It’s been a long drought. 

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On 4/19/2021 at 2:50 PM, CameronCrazy said:

Bring Marsh home! This has gone on long enough. He’s one of the greatest coaches in Auburn history. Give him the facilities and resources that he wants and let’s get back to winning National Championships!

I second this!

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Why does everyone "in the know" say that Marsh is not an option. I'm not being a smart^^^, I'm genuinely interested as I know nothing about the situation. Was there some sort of "falling out" between Marsh and AU? Just curious.

 

It's interesting because he did such incredible things at AU. Then was involved in the USA Olympic swimming, but now seems to be "out" as far as that goes too. Is he just one of those people who is incredibly talented, but is hard to get along with and burns bridges along the way?

 

gabo

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13 hours ago, gabo4au said:

Why does everyone "in the know" say that Marsh is not an option. I'm not being a smart^^^, I'm genuinely interested as I know nothing about the situation. Was there some sort of "falling out" between Marsh and AU? Just curious.

 

It's interesting because he did such incredible things at AU. Then was involved in the USA Olympic swimming, but now seems to be "out" as far as that goes too. Is he just one of those people who is incredibly talented, but is hard to get along with and burns bridges along the way?

 

gabo

From what I remember, there was always a personality clash between Marsh and Jay Jacobs. It may stem from Marsh asking for an Olympic size outdoor complex being needed, and JJ sitting on it for 5 years (** although I believe that they had gotten approval and had the designs to build the outdoor pool by the time Marsh left). 

It may also be that JJ didn't give Marsh all he wanted, even though Marsh was our most successful coach in any Auburn sport ever. Granted swimming probably couldn't generate the revenue that the major sports could, and JJ and his PTB operated that way.

I also know that Marsh had turned down for 3 years the opportunity to manage the Olympic program, but the issues between JJ and him, finally made him leave. 

If there are other reasons, those who were in on it back then can add to this opinion. 

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4 hours ago, steeleagle said:

From what I remember, there was always a personality clash between Marsh and Jay Jacobs. It may stem from Marsh asking for an Olympic size outdoor complex being needed, and JJ sitting on it for 5 years (** although I believe that they had gotten approval and had the designs to build the outdoor pool by the time Marsh left). 

It may also be that JJ didn't give Marsh all he wanted, even though Marsh was our most successful coach in any Auburn sport ever. Granted swimming probably couldn't generate the revenue that the major sports could, and JJ and his PTB operated that way.

I also know that Marsh had turned down for 3 years the opportunity to manage the Olympic program, but the issues between JJ and him, finally made him leave. 

If there are other reasons, those who were in on it back then can add to this opinion. 

 

Thanks for that, makes sense. Should have known JJ was somehow involved!

 

gabo

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Yes David and JJ definitely clashed. I also know that David actually wanted to return when Bret was let go but that didn’t happen. I suspect David will stay in San Diego at this point in his life. Yes Maddie is a student at Auburn. We need to get this right and get this program back on track. This year was sad. 

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10 hours ago, steeleagle said:

From what I remember, there was always a personality clash between Marsh and Jay Jacobs. It may stem from Marsh asking for an Olympic size outdoor complex being needed, and JJ sitting on it for 5 years (** although I believe that they had gotten approval and had the designs to build the outdoor pool by the time Marsh left). 

It may also be that JJ didn't give Marsh all he wanted, even though Marsh was our most successful coach in any Auburn sport ever. Granted swimming probably couldn't generate the revenue that the major sports could, and JJ and his PTB operated that way.

I also know that Marsh had turned down for 3 years the opportunity to manage the Olympic program, but the issues between JJ and him, finally made him leave. 

If there are other reasons, those who were in on it back then can add to this opinion. 

It's so long ago ... ... but I do recall that there was a final straw that broke the camel's back incident -- something like Marsh wanted a dedicated golf cart-like vehicle with which to show prospective recruits around and incredibly, the buffon JJ nixed it.  If only we had a real AD back then.  David Marsh's career

 

Quote

In 2003 he led both the men's and women's teams to a sweep of the NCAA titles, a first in collegiate Swimming and Diving. Marsh and the Tigers went on to repeat this accomplishment three more times (2004, 2006, and 2007).  

Marsh inherited a strong swimming program that was a fixture in the national swimming scene and regularly in the top 20 but was in a slump and turned it into a dynastic powerhouse. Since Marsh took over the Auburn swimming and diving program, Auburn's men finished in the Top 10 every year but his first two years (1991 & 1992 Auburn teams finished 20th and 15th). In 1990, the year before Marsh came to Auburn, the team failed to qualify any swimmers for the NCAA Division I Championship Meet; in Marsh's first year in 1991, the men's team placed 20th at the championship meet. In 1993 the Tigers finished #6 in the NCAAs and have not fallen out of the top 10 since, with the lowest placing in that time being #7 in 2001. The women have been equally successful, jumping from #30 in Marsh's first year to #8 in his second of 92. The lowest finish for the Tiger women since 1992 was #13 in 1995.

 

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1 hour ago, AUloggerhead said:

It's so long ago ... ... but I do recall that there was a final straw that broke the camel's back incident -- something like Marsh wanted a dedicated golf cart-like vehicle with which to show prospective recruits around and incredibly, the buffon JJ nixed it.  If only we had a real AD back then.  David Marsh's career

 

 

that is wrong, the swim team had a golf early 2000, had nothing to do with David leaving. Today they have two carts for recruiting. 

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12 hours ago, monsterdb said:

that is wrong, the swim team had a golf early 2000, had nothing to do with David leaving. Today they have two carts for recruiting. 

Lol. Then maybe David wanted 2 carts and got nixed by JJ. And now that JJ is gone, they have 2...

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I have heard that Allen met with swim team and they want someone with Auburn connection. Also may be reaching out to David Marsh. Time will tell. There are several great coaches who are AU alumni. Hopefully we will know soon. Recruiting is so important and we can’t take too long for this to be resolved. 

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1 hour ago, swimmama said:

I have heard that Allen met with swim team and they want someone with Auburn connection. Also may be reaching out to David Marsh. Time will tell. There are several great coaches who are AU alumni. Hopefully we will know soon. Recruiting is so important and we can’t take too long for this to be resolved. 

As long as their request for an Auburn connection is tied to names they feel are already coaching and successful. If you go by the list above, 5 out of the top 6 possible candidates are Auburn connected. It is possible, that some of them had already had feelers put out to them to gauge their interest, before Greene made the move to fire Taylor....

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I think this is a good get but since it has not been brought up, I sure hope Greene had at least a lunch with Rowdy G to discuss the opening and get his thoughts.

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On 4/23/2021 at 9:13 AM, swimmama said:

I have heard that Allen met with swim team and they want someone with Auburn connection. Also may be reaching out to David Marsh. Time will tell. There are several great coaches who are AU alumni. Hopefully we will know soon. Recruiting is so important and we can’t take too long for this to be resolved. 

Can you please confirm if Marsh was offered?

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