Originally published 9.6.21
Former Auburn head coach Gary Taylor announced today on Instagram that he will be headed to Charlottesville, Virginia, to become the new head coach of Cavalier Aquatics, the team which formed last year as a merger between Charlottesville YCMA Aquatics Club (CYAC) and the University of Virginia’s USA Swimming team.
Next stop Charlottesville! Humbled to be named the next head coach of @cavalier_aquatics and really excited about the future of this program. The horizon is bright and the future is now. Looking forward to the ride!
Taylor succeeds Mike Wenert, who departed Cavalier Aquatics this summer after leading CYAC for since 2017. His tenure as head coach included the 2020 merger. UVA head coach Todd DeSorbo serves as the Director of High Performance for the combined USA/YMCA team now known as Cavalier Aquatics.
Just over four months ago, Taylor and Auburn “mutually agreed to part ways,” three years after Taylor was originally hired to replace longtime Auburn coach Brett Hawke. During Taylor’s tenure, the Auburn men placed 40th at NCAAs in 2019 and didn’t score in 2021. The Auburn women were 12th in 2019, but did not score in 2021. At SECs, the men were 8th out of 10 programs in 2019, 2020, and in 2021. The women were 6th of 12 programs in 2019, 5th of 12 in 2020, and 9th of 12 in 2021. Auburn did have some great performances under Taylor’s watch, including their women throwing down the 2nd-fastest 200 free relay ever in 2020.
Taylor came to Auburn after six years at NC State, the last two of which he spent as the associate head coach. At NC State, Taylor worked primarily with the distance crew, including Anton Ipsen, the 2018 men’s NCAA champion in the mile. While on staff at NC State, he coached alongside side DeSorbo, who made the move from NC State assistant to UVA head coach in 2017. Before his time at NC State, Taylor served coached the distance crew at another ACC school, coach, Florida State.
This move marks Taylor’s return to the club coaching scene after over a decade coaching at the club level; he coached for Dynamo Swim Club in Georgia and the Twin Cities Swim team in Minnesota after graduating from the University of Minnesota in 2001. While at Dynamo, he was named the Georgia Age Group Coach of the Year in 2007, and coached multiple state record holders.
We’ve been told that for now, Taylor’s will be focusing on the club team, with the potential to work with the collegiate team and pros in the future. While not the biggest age group program in the state, Cavalier Aquatics has been making some noise lately, especially with Thomas Heilman‘s assault on the age group record book over the last few seasons.