Ivy League ‘A’ finalist Neil Simpson to Transfer to Minnesota for 5th Year in 2023

Neil Simpson has announced his plans to transfer to Minnesota to finish his eligibility for the 2023-2024 school year.

“I chose Minnesota because I felt it was a place I could hit the ground running without many hiccups to swim fast. I knew this factor would be extremely important given I would only be at my new university for one season. From my three years at Penn and three at Andover, I have learned that mutual trust and respect between coach and athlete extending beyond the pool is essential for an athlete to succeed. Like Coach Schnur at Penn and Fox at Andover, I felt the coaching staff at Minnesota would truly be in my corner no matter what, whether it be related to athletics or other areas of my life. I also had a great time with the boys on my visit, so I figured I might as well Gopher it!”

Simpson has spent his first three years of school at UPenn and will be finishing up his senior year there this upcoming school year. Simpson made it clear that he is not transferring away from UPenn and “love(s) Coach Mike and the team here, but the archaic rules of the Ivy League do not permit graduate students to compete in athletics.”

Simpson competed at the 2022 Ivy League Championships for UPenn. There he finished eighth in the 100 breast (54.53), fifth in the 200 breast (1:55.36), and 11th in the 200 IM (1:46.86). Notably, he went a best time in prelims of the 100 breaststroke swimming a 53.23.

Simpson’s best SCY times are:

  • 100 Breast: 53.23
  • 200 Breast: 1:55.36
  • 200 IM 1:46.86

Simpson is a big pickup for the Gophers when he arrives on campus. The Gopher men finished seventh out of eight teams at the 2022 Big Ten Championships. The team was led by breaststroke Max McHugh but McHugh will be taking his fifth year this upcoming season, meaning that he will graduate just as Simpson arrives for the Gophers.

Simpson’s best times would have finished eighth in the 200 breast, 11th in the 100 breast, and 16th in the 200 IM at the 2022 Big Ten Championships. Notably, his breaststroke times would have been the fastest for Minnesota besides McHugh.

Simpson has his extra year of eligibility as the Ivy League did not compete at all during the 2020-2021 season.

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Some Guy
2 years ago

Gonna have to rename the team from the Minnesota Max McHughs

Inside Smoke
2 years ago

Man the mention of Andover threw me for a second because there is also an Andover in MN as well and I was wondering how I never knew he swam there

James Beam
2 years ago

Does anyone understand the logic of the ivy league not allowing grad students to compete? Never knew this…

Konner Scott
2 years ago

Go Neil and go Quakers! Wish the Ivy League let swimmers continue to compete as grad students.

2 years ago


About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

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