2010 was a banner year for UF swim coach Troy
Published: Friday, December 24, 2010 at 5:55 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, December 24, 2010 at 5:55 p.m.
When Florida’s Gregg Troy was named the 2010 Coach of the Year by USA Swimming in November, it marked the fourth such award he had won in a span of nine months. Troy had earlier claimed the SEC Men’s, NCAA Women’s and ASCA (American Swimming Coach Association) Coach of the Year kudos.
If that plethora of awards wasn’t enough to cement Troy, a 33-year coaching veteran who is in his 13th season at the Gator helm, as the top coach in the sport, the U.S. Olympic Committee made it official by recently naming him as the head coach of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Men’s Swimming Team.
With his selection, Troy becomes just the second Gator head coach in history to be named the head coach of a U.S. Olympic squad, joining former UF track and field head coach Jimmy Carnes (1980).
“It’s one of those things that only happen once every four years, and not many people get the opportunity,” Troy said. “I don’t know that you could ever really say it’s a goal because it’s so unique, but it’s certainly a tremendous honor, and I’m really excited about the opportunity.”
“We are very proud of our Gator Olympic tradition, and we look forward to him (Troy) carrying that on,” said UF athletic director Jeremy Foley. “The United States Olympic Committee could not have made a better choice.”
In 2010, Troy led the Gator women’s team to the NCAA Championship, their first since 1982, and also directed the UF men to their 11th consecutive top-10 finish with a school-record 364 points. This past summer, he served as head coach of the U.S. Men’s Team at the 2010 Pan Pacific Games and led them to the title in record-setting fashion.
Midway through the 2010-11 season, his Gator men are ranked fifth nationally while the women are ranked sixth.
“It’s been a good year for us,” Troy said. “I’m fortunate enough to have a tremendous staff that makes these types of things possible and also very fortunate to work here at Florida where Jeremy values high-level performance. He’s one of the few athletic directors in the country who realizes that certainly we’re team-oriented and like to have great teams here, but in our sport, tremendous individual performances are every bit as important.”
The 2012 Olympics in London will actually be Troy’s fifth Olympics and third with the U.S. His first came at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul as an assistant coach with Guam. At the next Olympics in Barcelona (1992), Troy served as head coach for Thailand before getting his first chance with the U.S. as an assistant coach for the women’s team at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
His last stint came in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where he served as an assistant coach for a U.S. men’s squad led by Michael Phelps that set 11 world records and won 31 medals, accounting for almost one-third of the total medals won by American athletes.
Ex-Gator Ryan Lochte, currently the top-ranked swimmer in the world who lives and trains in Gainesville, as well as Phelps, figure to headline a strong 2012 U.S. squad. Current Gator standout Conor Dwyer, the 2010 NCAA Men’s Swimmer of the Year, also is a strong possibility.
“You’ve got a tremendous nucleus of guys who are very experienced,” Troy noted. “Obviously Michael is a key player. Ryan is the same dynamic. He made big steps this past year and was the top swimmer in the world, but he needs to continue that same trend.
“But on the other side, there are some tremendous young athletes. This year’s high school senior class, just because I’m familiar with them through recruiting here at Florida, is probably one of the best ones ever. Some of them will be breakthrough college athletes next year and key players for the 2012 Olympic team.”
As part of being the Olympic head coach, Troy will serve as the top assistant for the U.S. men at next summer’s World Championships.
“They don’t actually select the team until July of 2012, but there are a lot of logistical decisions to be made between now and next August,” he said. “I’m going to be very busy, but then again, that’s one of the pluses of being here at Florida. I’ve got tremendous assistants; Martyn Wilby and Anthony Nesty are just fantastic. Our entire staff is great.
“Of course, the number one goal is keeping the Gators on track, and that’s exactly what we will do.”