Beyond The Pancakes: Gary Taylor of Auburn on being a First-time Head Coach

In Practice + Pancakes, SwimSwam takes you across the country and through a practice day in the life of swimming’s best athletes. It breaks down training sessions, sub sets, and what every team is doing to be at their best. But why are they doing things that way? What’s the philosophy behind these decisions, and who’s driving this pain train? In Beyond the Pancakes, we dive inside the minds of coaches and athletes, getting a first hand look at why they do the things they do, and where their minds are pointed on the compass of evolution as a swimmer.

If you saw SwimSwam’s Practice + Pancakes with Auburn University, you got a taste of head coach Gary Taylor‘s coaching style. Taylor made headlines when he was hired for Auburn’s head coaching position, in part due to the fact that he was primarily known as a distance coach, and Auburn is known for it’s rich sprinting tradition. Taylor continued to work as the primary coach for the “endurance’ group once he arrived in Auburn. However, he has surrounded himself with coaches he believes will make up for what he may lack in the sprinting realm.

The staff Taylor has compiled fills all holes a roaster might have, including Auburn alum and former sprint star Gideon Louw. Taylor realizes he can’t do it all by himself, and defers to his assistants on a number of topics. For example, Taylor is the face of the program and interacts with athletic coordinators, alumni, and media on a regular basis, while Michael Joyce and Jeana Kempe head up recruiting and Duncan Sherrard and Louw take care of a number of factors behind the scenes, including helping with athlete’s academics and summer swim camps.

Leave a Reply

2 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Nice article and interview. Coach has much t do in order to right this ship. Given time and support, he would seem to be the best man for the job. Best wishes to AU.


Great things happening on The Plains, AUsome coaching staff and athletes-WDE!!!

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!