AD Says No New Pool for Alabama

  5 Braden Keith | June 15th, 2012 | College, News

In this article from Alabama’s, Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore flat-out denied that a new pool was on the way.

Alabama recently hired a new head coach for men’s and women’s swimming and diving. Is there any talk of a new natatorium?

“No,” he said.

“I like where we are and what we have and how we’re going about it.”

Despite rumors to the contrary, it looks like Alabama will not be replacing the Dom Gambril Olympic Pool anytime soon.

Not that it necessarily needs replacing, either. The 50-meter, indoor pool is all-deep, and the facility also houses an additional 8-lane 25-yard training pool and a full complement of diving apparatus. With 1,500 seats, it’s got a decent seating capacity and is more-than-enough to host club meets for the local swimming community.

What’s more, in 2002 the pool received a $1.5 million renovation that included an overhaul of the locker rooms, new office space, a new lighting and sound system, and an entire redo of the pool surface (including paint and tile). It is a 30-year old facility, but it still has everything necessary to produce an elite swimming program.

But what many expected to trump that was location, location, location. The pool is nestled in the arm of the football facilities, where Nick Saban is dominating the country (including winning last year’s National Championship). Meanwhile, his program’s success is beefing-up the department’s coffers and many expected him to ask Moore to put up the money for a new natatorium in order to make room for more football-support facilities.

But for now, Dennis Pursely and his new staff will be staying put in the Southeast end of the campus.

Requests for comment by the Athletics Department have not been returned.


  1. JW says:

    Competing at the highest levels of college swimming requires excellence in every aspect of a program–coaching, facilities, academics, university support, alumni outreach and recruiting. With Dennis Pursley and the staff he’s putting together, UA is getting an elite team of coaches. If the athletic department doesn’t recognize this, and fails to match that talent with elite-level facilities, it will be hobbling the entire effort.

  2. Disappointed says:

    I agree – Very Disappointing. This news will really make it challenging for the new coaching staff to recruit the type of swimmers it will take to bring the program back to a competitive level in the very fast SEC. I hope they change their mind. Roll Tide Roll!!

  3. Swimfan22 says:

    That’s not what Nick says. Guess MM did ‘t get the memo.

  4. Rick Allred says:

    This is extremely disappointing news. The University of Alabama desperately needs a new aquatics center. The Don Gambril Aquatics Center is one of the oldest facilities in the southeastern conference. Seating is limited ( you have to climb on bleachers) and there is very little parking space for visitors outside Tuscaloosa. It sits on a tiny lot surrounded by football and basketball facilities and has no identity of its own. It pales in comparison to the new Cross Plex Center in Birmingham. Once again, as a non-revenue generator, swimming and diving remains the step-child of sports.
    A new pool would greatly enhance recruiting. I hope alumni will flood Mal Moore
    with emails and letters requesting he change his mind. The coaching staff and swimmers deserve much better. There is an ample supply of money available within the athletic department. I pray that a new aquatics center will be constructed within the very near future.

  5. joeb says:

    a pool is essential to have a top 10 team but a pool doesn’t guarantee a top ten team

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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