Yesterday Florida Gulf Coast University announced that Dave Rollins will be the new head coach of its women’s program. Today FGCU posted a YouTube video of the team meeting Coach Rollins for the first time via video conference from his home in Ohio. FGCU’s swim team is a NCAA Division I program that competes in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Although the student-athletes were visibly and audibly delighted (loud cheers and applause) with the selection of Rollins as their head coach, Baby Rollins stole the show after throwing up the Eagles’ “Wings Up” sign with help from mom. The team can be heard “AWWW”-ing in unison. Rollins announced in the video that he will fly down Monday, September 5, 2016, to join the team.
Rollins has served as a coach for The Ohio State University for the past three years, and leaves his current position as Associate Head Coach of the men’s swimming program. Before beginning his coaching career, Rollins swam for Arizona University with Simon Burnett during a special time in NCAA men’s swimming. Rollins’ 2006 graduating class included Ryan Lochte, Eric Shanteau, Peter Vanderkaay, Ous Mellouli, Cullen Jones, George Bovell, Fran Crippen, and Davis Tarwater. (Other big-name swimmers like Cesar Cielo, Matt Grevers, David Plummer, Larsen Jensen, Nick Thomas, Ben Wildman-Tobriner, Michael Klueh, and Garrett Weber-Gale also competed at the meet.) Check out the complete meet results. Rollins split a 23.33 on the breaststroke leg of Arizona’s 200 Medley Relay, which set the new American Record. He had the fastest split of the championships. Rollins also got third in the 100 Breast in 52.91 (he swam 52.68 in prelims) and fifth in the 200 IM in 1:44.75. Arizona finished second that year to Auburn by 40 points.
FGCU has been successful the past several years, winning seven of the last eight Coastal Collegiate Sports Association swimming titles. Rollins will look to carry the Eagles’ momentum into the 2016-2017 season.