Former Auburn Head Coach Gary Taylor Will Be Head Coach of Cavalier Aquatics

by Robert Gibbs 59

September 07th, 2021 Club, National, News

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!

Special thanks to @brooksfamilyymca, @jessicamaslaney, @todddesorbo, and the search committee. Your confidence is appreciated along with numerous others who have supported me.

#CavalierAquatics #CAY#HomeSweetCVille
#LetsRide #FutureIsNow#BackToMyRoots

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.

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Buckeyeboy
1 month ago

Great Hire. Will be great to see Gary on the pool deck again. Smart hire by DeSorbo.

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 month ago

I arrived too soon. I’ll check back in another 4-6 hours here to read the comments.

Bruh
Reply to  Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 month ago

It always seems like there are a few people who have had the person as a coach and have stuff to say

swammer
Reply to  Bruh
1 month ago

They CLAIM to have had him as a coach.

Bruh
Reply to  Bruh
1 month ago

Yo why you take my username⁉️⁉️⁉️⁉️

Hswimmer
1 month ago

Lol interesting

ScottyJ
1 month ago

Congrats Gary! Will do an amazing job

swammer
1 month ago

Congratulations, Coach Taylor! Great hire by DeSorbo.

Orange & Blue
1 month ago

GO CAVS

oxyswim
1 month ago

NC State reunion in Charlottesville

Ahh
Reply to  oxyswim
1 month ago

But with improved results

State fan
1 month ago

He truly doesn’t deserve to work with impressionable teenagers in my opinion. Not a good decision whatsoever.

swammer
Reply to  State fan
1 month ago

On what basis did you form this “opinion”? From troll comments on SwimSwam?

State fan
Reply to  swammer
1 month ago

Literally swimming for him personally.

swammer
Reply to  State fan
1 month ago

In his group or on his former team at Auburn?

Close observer
Reply to  swammer
1 month ago

I’ve heard bad things as well. Auburn had an objectively abusive coaching staff under him. (I know multiple swimmers who swam on that program). There’s a reason Gideon Lowe was the only person retained by the school… Auburn wanted nothing to do Gary Taylor and his abusive coaching methods. Hopefully he’s learned his lesson but honestly I doubt it

swimapologist
Reply to  Close observer
1 month ago

Let’s put a finer point on it:

The Gary Taylor era at Auburn was not a successful one. They lost a lot of swimmers, had a lot of turmoil (team captain removed as such, and then transfered – is not a great look) and had some of their least-successful teams in decades.

We can argue til the cows come home about the ‘why’ behind that, we can blame it on the internet, we can blame it on this student or that student, we can blame it on the assistants, and it seems clear that Gary is willing to do all of the above*, but ultimately, if you accept the $250k+++salary + benefits + camp money that comes with being an… Read more »

swammer
Reply to  swimapologist
1 month ago

1. Do you know the full story about the former captain leaving the team? I’m assuming no. Firstly, the captain was NOT removed (their captain ship was temporarily suspended) and there were serious reasons as to why that step was taken. If said swimmer (who was very talented) was in say-good academic standing, why did they not ever transfer anywhere?
How many swimmers “who left the team” decided to opt out because 1. they had never made the conference team, and 2. were not going to make it last year? Yes, there were some who were unhappy and left (like what happens on every team) and those folks decided to air out their grievances publicly.

2. Where have… Read more »

swimapologist
Reply to  swammer
1 month ago

Hmmmm it’s like the robot is unaware that it exists. Weird.

Okay good, it sounds like it’s just you then who is blaming it on everyone and everything but Gary. I’m glad to hear that, for his future.

swammer
Reply to  swimapologist
1 month ago

You don’t know, what you don’t know.

It’s clear that you have NOT spoken to Gary yourself. I find it more robotic in nature to blindly repeat unsubstantiated comments/rumors…

swimapologist
Reply to  swammer
1 month ago

Okay but we can both agree that you have definitely blamed all of those other people, and deflected 100% of the responsibility from Gary, right?

swammer
Reply to  swimapologist
1 month ago

In hindsight, are there situations that he could have handled differently? Absolutely. I think everyone looks back at times and wish they did xyz instead. He is the first one to say/admit this if you’d actually spoken with him.
The fact remains that he didn’t break rules, violate NCAA regulations, etc.

I think that he accepted the ultimate responsibility by agreeing to part ways with Auburn.

swammer
Reply to  Close observer
1 month ago

“Abusive coaching staff under him” is a heavy and UNFOUNDED claim.

This is a FACT: Coach Taylor was not investigated by any entities who look into those serious claims (SafeSport, Title IV, etc.) and you are dangerously repeating false accusations based off of OPINIONS.

Contrary to your belief, his parting with Auburn did NOT have to do with any “coaching methods.”

swammer
Reply to  swammer
1 month ago

Title IX*

swammer
Reply to  State fan
1 month ago

and an actual “State Fan” wouldn’t write this…

not today, Satan!
Reply to  State fan
1 month ago

On what exactly are you basing your “opinion” on? Fallacious comments in past articles from trolls?

A Thought
Reply to  State fan
1 month ago

Interesting you should say that. I had a teenage son and teenage daughter that swam under Coach Taylor. Both claimed he was the best coach they ever had. Was a good role model with great work ethic and integrity! I would say the Cavaliers are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Coach Taylor!