Alabama Hires Chris Collier as New Assistant Coach

Former Wisconsin assistant Chris Collier has been added to the Alabama staff as an assistant coach. He fills the spot opened up when Will Leonhart left the program last fall.

Collier spent the last 5 seasons as an assistant at Wisconsin, who terminated head coach Whitney Hite and hired former Cal assistant Yuri Suguiyama as his replacement within the last month.

“I want to thank Coach Pursley for giving me the opportunity to join his great staff in Tuscaloosa,”Collier said. “With a rich history of producing world class student-athletes and a current team with unparalleled attitude, character and commitment, the future is very bright for the University of Alabama swimming and diving program and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Collier coached primarily mid-distance and distance while at Wisconsin, including Cierra Runge until she left the program late in 2017. He had previously coached Runge at NBAC prior to her joining the group of Bob Bowman.

More on Collier’s resume, courtesy: Alabama Athletics

On the conference level, Collier helped Wisconsin’s women to a third place finish at the 2017 Big 10 Championships, its best finish since 2005, while the men posted three consecutive top-five finishes at Big 10s from 2015-17, its best stretch since the early 2000s.

During his tenure at Wisconsin, Collier-coached swimmers earned All-America, Big 10 Swimmer of the Year, All-Big 10 and Big 10 titles. His swimmers also shattered multiple Big 10 and Wisconsin school records over his five years in Madison. He also coached 2017 FINA World Championship, 2017 World University Games and 2016 Rio Olympic qualifiers.

Collier joined the Badgers after spending 2011 and 2012 as High Performance, Challenge and Imagination coach at the famed North Baltimore Aquatics Club (NBAC) in Baltimore, Md., under 2016 USA Head Olympic Coach Bob Bowman. The High Performance group placed a pair of athletes on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, earning seven gold medals, three silvers and a bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The group sent 13 athletes to the USA Olympic Trials with numerous finals qualifiers and earned a 2012 USA Swimming Summer Junior National women’s title. Collier‘s athletes also earned all six national champion freestyle titles.

Prior to joining NBAC, Collier coached high school, YMCA and USA Swimming club teams starting in 1987.

A native of Newark, Del., Collier graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.S. in physical education in 1992.

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A non-e mouse

Caption on the picture says “Collier has spent the last 5 years as an assistant at Alabama”, think you meant wisconsin there

Sam Kendricks

Congrats Chris! Roll Tide!


Which coach left Alabama or were they short a coach?


Short a coach

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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