Florida Adds Pair of Volunteer Assistants as All-Florida Invite Kicks Off

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 4

September 28th, 2012 College, News

Headed into this weekend’s All-Florida Invite, Gregg Troy has announced the addition of two volunteer assistants to his staff at the University of Florida.

One wasn’t much of a secret, as British Olympian, 7-time NCAA Champion, and World Record holder Gemma Spofforth has been officially named to the Gainesville crew. “Gemma was not only a tremendous world class athlete while here at Florida but she is also a class individual and has tremendous skills in counseling,” head coach Troy said of his newest assistant. “She relates well to athletes and their goals.”

The other is Michael Harden – who is less well-known but obviously impressed Troy enough to earn this opportunity. He is currently at Florida working on his Masters in Environmental Engineering after completing a three-sport career at Division III Olivet College. There, he was on the swimming, track, and cross country teams, and in the pool broke 6 school records and earned Division III All-American honors.

Harden will bring a unique interest to deck at Florida. He is to be focused specifically on biomechanics and doing video analysis of strokes, trying to help Troy and the Gators eke every ounce of speed out of their prodigious practice efforts.

The Gators kicked off their season this morning at the prelims of their hosted All-Florida Invite. The meet, open to Florida universities, is a great grudge-match and simultaneously a unifying force for the state’s many teams. This year’s meet will include Florida State, Florida Gulf Coast, Miami, Nova Southeastern, Florida Atlantic, North Florida, and Rollins College.

Unfortunately, Florida has said that they will not be making live results available for this meet, but we will be posting nightly recaps with results so stay tuned.

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11 years ago

I just saw Matt Mcclean was added as volunteer asst. coach at UVA. What is the reasoning for volunteer positions and what do they do? Is it for experience because they want to coach?

Reply to  don
11 years ago

One part of it is that it’s often a bit of a loophole to allow post-grads to train with current college swimmers. Laure Manaudou was officially listed as a ‘volunteer assistant’ at Auburn last year when she was getting back into shape in the pool.

11 years ago

Is Gemma doing post-grad coursework in psychology/mental health? Wouldn’t be a surprise if it was a situation where worked with the team as she continued studies.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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