Duncan Sherrard and Kyle Patnode are the latest additions to the staff of new South Carolina head swimming & diving coach Jeff Poppell, the school announced on Wednesday. The pair join Robert Pinter, who was announced last week as part of the Gamecocks’ revamped staff.
Presuming the program retains head diving coach Todd Sherritt, that leaves the Gamecocks with one available on-deck coaching slot to fill, and no female assistant yet on staff.
Sherrard comes to South Carolina from Auburn University, where he was an assistant coach who worked primarily with the sprinters. Auburn is another program that hired a new head coach already this spring. Among his other accomplishments in his stint as a coach there, he led three relays at SEC titles in SEC Championship Meet Records. In addition to helping 12 Auburn student-athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships, he guided his swimmers to 43 All-America honors and nine program records.
Prior to Auburn, Sherrard was an assistant at North Carolina from 2015-2018, again working with the men’s and women’s sprinters. There he developed 2 First Team All-Americans and 30 Honorable Mention All-Americans. Among his crowning achievements were the results of Caroline Baldwin, who became the program’s first NCAA finalist in the women’s 50 free in 19 years.
Before that, he was the head coach at NCAA Division II Florida Southern College from 2009-2015, where the team won 3 consecutive men’s Sunshine State Conference Championships and the team were national runners-up in 2013 and 2014.
“Duncan has clearly established himself as one of the top sprint coaches in the country evidenced by his outstanding accomplishments at both UNC and Auburn,” said Poppell. “Over the years, I have had the opportunity to witness first-hand the positive impact he has made on the teams he has been a part of as well as with the athletes he has coached. I am truly excited to see what he will bring to our program at South Carolina as we seek to climb the SEC ladder and establish a strong presence nationally.”
Sherrard also served on the U.S. staff at the 2017 World University Games.
As an athlete, Sherrard was a 14-time All-American and 3-time SEC Champion at the University of Florida, which is the same program where Poppell was previously the women’s head coach.
Patnode, meanwhile, spent last season as a volunteer assistant at Ohio State University, where the Buckeye women won their 2nd-straight Big Ten title and recorded the highest point total in conference history. The Ohio State men placed 7th at last year’s NCAA Championship meet.
Prior to that, he spent 2 seasons as a graduate assistant at Oakland University, 6 months as a volunteer strength & conditioning coach with Ohio State, and two-and-a-half years as an assistant coach with the Iowa City Flyers Swim Club.
Patnode graduated from Iowa in 2017 with a degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science. In addition to his time as a member of the varsity swim team, including as a captain when he was a senior, Patnode. was a volunteer assistant with the strength and conditioning staff. There he implemented programs for 6 varsity teams, including swimming. At Ohio Sate, he worked with 27 varsity teams in the same area.
“Kyle brings an energy and passion to our program at South Carolina that I think the athletes will enjoy,” said Poppell. “His recent experience at Ohio State with the Big Ten champion women’s team and Big Ten runner-up men’s team, will be invaluable as we seek to change the culture of our program into one centered on doing the necessary things to be great. In addition, Kyle’s strength and conditioning background will prove to be a valuable asset that I feel we can capitalize on to help our athletes take the next step in their individual development.”