The inaugural competition schedule for Gary Taylor as head coach of the Auburn Tigers has been released, and while there’s some new competition on the list, the schedule still feels very much like Auburn schedules under the prior administration of Brett Hawke.
That includes a lineup that pivots around the Georgia Tech Invitational in mid-November, which the Tigers have attended for each of the last two seasons.
“I’m really excited about the upcoming schedule,” Taylor said. “It offers some great competition and it allows us to get out of our comfort zone and perform against elite level programs that will prepare us and make us race-ready as we look towards the SEC and NCAA Championships at the end of the season.”
While NC State, Taylor’s prior employer, wasn’t a recent attendee of this specific invite (they last raced it in 2007), they have been on a mid-November invite schedule every year since at least the 2007-2008 season, which has fluctuated between the Ohio State Invite, the Nike Cup hosted by UNC, and the Maryland Invitational before the Terrapins dropped their team. That means that Taylor’s season rhythm from NC State, where the Wolfpack had program-unprecedented levels of success, will stay about the same at Auburn.
Also remaining the same are 7 dual meet opponents, which matches what the Tigers saw in 2017-2018. Last year, though, that began with a big two-day double-dual against Tennessee and Wisconsin. This year, the season starts with an intrasquad, and then a standard dual against Florida Gulf Coast, a two day affair with Virginia, and then an early-November battle against Tennessee on November 9th.
That Virginia battle will be one to circle on your calendars, as it will pit Taylor against his former NC State colleague Todd Desorbo, who took over lasts season as the Cavaliers’ head coach and immediately reinvigorated that program. Taylor will be hoping that his first season at Auburn will go as well.
The big in-state rivalry meet with Alabama will be on December 7th this year, in Tuscaloosa, before the holiday break. Then, in January, they’ll battle Georgia Tech (January 5th), the 4-time defending NCAA Champions Texas (January 10th), and the defending SEC men’s champions Florida (January 26th) to wrap up their regular season.
The SEC Championships this year are being hosted by the University of Georgia from February 19th-23rd, and NCAAs are in Austin from March 20th-23rd (women) and 27th-30th (men).
Last season, the Auburn women finished 5th and men 6th at the SEC Championships. For the Auburn men, who won the SEC title every season from 1997-2012, that was their lowest finish since 1992. The Auburn men were 12th at NCAAs and the women were 16th. The men’s team’s best swimmer, Zach Apple, who scored 38.5 of the team’s 55.5 individual points at NCAAs, transferred to Indiana this summer, while SEC 400 IM champion Hugo Gonzalez transferred to Virginia Tech.
Auburn’s Full 2018-2019 Schedule is Below:
2018-19 Auburn S&D Schedule
Date Opponent Location
SEPT. 28 INTERSQUAD MEET AUBURN
OCT. 20 FLORIDA GULF COAST (W) AUBURN
Oct. 26-27 at Virginia Charlottesville, Va.
Nov. 9 at Tennessee Knoxville, Tenn.
Nov. 15-17 at Georgia Tech Invite Atlanta, Ga.
Nov. 28-Dec. 1 UGA Invite (D) Athens, Ga.
Nov. 28-Dec. 1 USA Winter Nationals Greensboro, N.C.
Dec. 7 at Alabama Tuscaloosa, Ala.
DEC. 17-20 AUBURN DIVING INVITE (D) AUBURN
Jan. 4-6 at UGA Diving Invite (D) Athens, Ga.
JAN. 5 GEORGIA TECH AUBURN
JAN. 10 TEXAS AUBURN
JAN. 26 FLORIDA AUBURN
Feb. 19-23 SEC Championships Athens, Ga.
MAR. 11-13 NCAA DIVING ZONES AUBURN
Mar. 20-23 NCAA Championships (W) Austin, Texas
Mar. 27-30 NCAA Championships (M) Austin, Texas
(D) – Diving only (W) – Women only (M) – Men only
ALL CAPS – home event