In Briefs: Dagny Knutson Moving to Join Gator Swim Club

I’m not sure how many people caught this, but in an interview last week with Florida swimmer Brett Fraser on the Morning Swim Show, Peter Busch deftly pulled out the information that USA Swimming National Teamer Dagny Knutson would be moving to Gainesville to continue her training for the 2012 London Olympics at the Gator Swim Club. The move makes a lot of sense for her, as she will now be in a training group made up of some of the best middle distance swimmers in the country (including Ryan Lochte, Peter Vanderkaay, Rex Tullius, fellow Elizabeth Beisel, and the aforementioned Fraser, among others).

Gator Swim Club (and University of Florida) head coach Gregg Troy is also the head coach for the 2012 U.S. Men’s Olympic Team. He announced earlier this year that he would be temporarily transitioning many of his duties on the NCAA side of the program to his assistants so that he could better focus on training those athletes preparing for the Olympics. That extra focus is probably what tipped the scales for Knutson on this decision.

This past year, Knutson decommitted from Auburn and turned pro after the departure of their assistant Paul Yetter, and FAST seemed to be a way to buy herself some time (not that Jon Urbanchek isn’t a great coach), as it was fairly easy for her to jump right into the program with it being a USA Swimming Center of Excellence. This move doesn’t particularly surprise me, even without the Sean Hutchison situation (though that fiasco might have made the decision easier for her).

Now, with a little bit of time to weigh her options, Florida is a great choice for her. There was obviously something about that SEC feel that drew her commitment in 2009, and she will have a very similar cultural experience at Florida as she would have at Auburn. My assumption is that she’ll also be working towards a degree at UF.

Among her many accomplishments, Knutson is a former 400 yard IM American Record Holder and holds 4 Public High School Records (100, 200, 500 free & 400 IM).

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
11 years ago

Dagny just made the best possible move to ensure she’s in optimal shape to make the Olympic team. Training in that powderkeg with Beisel, Crippen, Proud, Spofforth, Lochte, Dwyer, Vanderkaay, et al (UF does a lot of co-ed training) is going to make her tough as nails again. Get ready for her second act.

Des Cairns
11 years ago

This is a link to an interview with Katie Hoff in which she talks about training with John Urbanchek. It’s from February but i think it’s still relevant.

11 years ago

Kukors swam well in Ann Arbor and was still with FAST then. So as of now, she seems to be sitting tight.

11 years ago

This seems like a great move for Dagny and I wish her the best of luck. Does anyone know if Elizabeth Besiel is staying in Florida through the summer or is she heading back to Bluefish?

I think Urbanchek may actually be the best thing for Katie Hoff. He obviously knows what he’s doing, especially when it comes to middle to distance freestyle. If it were another coach Katie had to switch to I think it would not turn out well, but with Urbanchek I think she’ll do even better then before.

11 years ago

1. Great Move for her.. I hope she excels.
2. I wonder how Hoff is handling things at FAST with Hutch gone. She is one that does not do well with change.. Will she cont to improve from nationals or will she crash and burn again.. I cant wait to watch that story..

Is Kukors still with FAST? Has anyone else moved.

11 years ago

Agree. My point was that by not even mentioning the problems out there, which were very real, made it look like the ridiculous USA Swimming cover up and we know that this site is not about this. Kara Lynn Joyce, in her interview on Swimming World, admitted that things were bad at FAST and that people were really struggling with the transition of coaches so it does deserve some mention in the reporting.

11 years ago

This is a great site for swimming news and dialogue. Please do not ruin it by glossing over mess at FAST by suggesting that Dagny went there as a placeholder as she pondered her options. She went there to train with Hutchinson plain and simple, and ended up as collateral damage of the whole scandal that no one will admit was a scandal despite the fact that Hutchinson is gone and all his swimmers have moved to Urbancek.

No one in their right mind would change coaches 14 months out from the OTs unless there was a very strong reason to leave the current situation. This was not part of some grand master plan but rather a tragic result of… Read more »

11 years ago

Knock on wood, I feel like this move might guarantee her a spot in the 2012 Olympics in London.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of 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, …

Read More »