Competitor Coach of the Month: Yuri Suguiyama, Wisconsin Aquatics

Competitor Coach of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based coach who has risen above the competition. As with any item of recognition, Competitor Coach of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one coach whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a coach who was clearly in the limelight, or one whose work fell through the cracks a bit more among other stories. If your favorite coach wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.

Fresh off a three-year contract extension, Wisconsin head coach Yuri Suguiyama has his Badgers swimming extremely well the month before U.S. Olympic Trials.

Wisconsin Aquatics put up seven different swims ranked in the top 11 nationally for the month of May – and that doesn’t even include two more current freshman Phoebe Bacon, who is technically unattached but coming off her rookie season with Suguiyama’s Badgers.

Penn State alum Ally McHugh moved to Wisconsin after her graduation and now competes for Wisconsin Aquatics. She hit the best time of any American in the 1500 free for the month of May, going 15:59.54 at the Pro Swim Series in Indianapolis. That time sits #2 among Americans this entire season, behind only Katie Ledecky.

She also hit key swims of 8:26.24 in the 800 free (#2 behind Ledecky among Americans in the month of May and #3 for the season), 4:09.59 in the 400 free (#5 among Americans in the month of May and #8 for the season), and 4:40.89 in the 400 IM (#5 among Americans for May).

Wisconsin alum Beata Nelson had three lifetime-best swims in May. Her 58.37 in the 100 fly took four-tenths off her best time, sitting 6th among Americans for the month of May. She dropped a full second to go 54.74 in the 100 free (11th among Ameicans for May), and her 2:13.01 in the 200 IM was a best time by three-tenths and ranks her #7 among Americans this month.

Then there’s Bacon, who leads all U.S. women in the 200 backstroke this month, courtesy of a 2:06.84 from the Indy Pro Swim Series. That was a massive time drop of nearly two full seconds for the 18-year-old Bacon.

She also went 59.62 in the 100 back – not a career-best, but fast enough to rank #7 among U.S. women for the month of May.


About Competitor Swim

Since 1960, Competitor Swim® has been the leader in the production of racing lanes and other swim products for competitions around the world. Competitor lane lines have been used in countless NCAA Championships, as well as 10 of the past 13 Olympic Games. Molded and assembled using U.S. – made components, Competitor lane lines are durable, easy to set up and are sold through distributors and dealers worldwide.

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2 years ago

Honest question here, how much we really know who coaches who in college teams? Remembering Desorbo interview were he talked about one of the girls was coached completely by some assistant coach, he was just overseeing….

Reply to  samulih
2 years ago

Talking to a college swimmer from a top 20 team recently, I can confirm that, for the swimmer and his team, that’s the case.

2 years ago

Looks like the Badgers just picked up two big transfers from Iowa

Reply to  Proudhoosier
2 years ago


Reply to  BigCatz1993
2 years ago

Myhre and jump.

2 years ago


2 years ago

Yuri suguiyama lead ledecky to her Olympic gold in 2012

2 years ago

Will the Bacon sizzle at the 2021 Olympic Team Trials?

Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
2 years ago


About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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