Lilly Robertson Commits to Tennessee for 2025, Follows in Dad’s Footsteps

by Riley Overend 6

September 17th, 2023 College, College Recruiting, News, SEC

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Tennessee state champion Lilly Robertson has verbally committed to stay in-state at the University of Tennessee beginning in the fall of 2025, following in the footsteps of her father, Doug, who swam for the Volunteers from 1982-86.

Robertson is a freestyle specialist who won both the 100-yard free (49.95) and 200 free (1:50.18) as a sophomore at February’s TISCA State Championships. With two more seasons of high school swimming left at Ensworth High School, her lifetime bests in the 50 free (23.47) and 100 free (49.95) are only about a second outside of SEC scoring range while her personal-best 200 free time (1:49.61) is about three seconds away.

Best Times (SCY)

  • 50 free – 23.47
  • 100 free – 49.95
  • 200 free – 1:49.61
  • 500 free – 4:59.15

“I’m so excited to announce my verbal commitment to swim and study at the University of Tennessee,” Robertson said. “I want to thank all of my coaches and peers who have helped me reach my dream of swimming at UTK following in my dad’s footsteps. Go Vols! 🍊🧡”

Knoxville is about three hours away from Robertson’s hometown of Franklin, Tennessee. Her dad, Doug, was an All-American in the 400 free relay (1984, 1986) and 800 free relay (1985-86).

During long-course meter (LCM) racing this summer, Robertson set a pair of personal bests in the 50-meter free (26.81) and 100 back (1:04.95) at Ocala Futures in late July. A couple weeks earlier, the 16-year-old Ensworth Aquatics standout notched a lifetime best in the 50 back (30.66).

Before the long course season started this year, Robertson capped her short course season with an impressive performance at the Southeastern Short Course Championships in late February. She won the 50 free (23.47), 100 free (50.41), and 500 free (4:59.15), with the 50 and 500 free times marking new personal bests. She also added a new lifetime best in the 50 back (26.29).

Robertson is Tennessee’s first recruit in the class of 2025. The Volunteers have several promising female recruits coming to campus next year, headlined by Canadian star Ella Jansen, Cayman Islands sprinter Jillian Crooks, and versatile Ohio native Emily Brown.

Last season, the Tennessee women placed 2nd (950.5 points) behind Florida (1,255) at the 2023 SEC Championships in February before going on to finish 8th at the 2023 NCAA Championships in March. Matt Kredich is entering his 12th season as the head coach of the Volunteers’ combined program.

The SEC is expected to get even tougher by the time Robertson arrives in 2025 with Texas joining the conference from the Big 12 in 2024.

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Happy Slappy
10 days ago

This is a stretch at best

10 days ago

Did Doug Robertson grow up in northern va?

10 days ago

Is dad’s All American accurate? Was NCAA’s in meters in 1984-86?

Reply to  I_Said_It
10 days ago

I think it’s a typo, should be 400 free relay and 800 free relay.

11 days ago


11 days ago

Welcome to Rocky Top!!

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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