LSU Names Rick Bishop as New Head Swimming & Diving Coach

Rick Bishop is bayou bound and will soon be announced as the next head coach of the LSU swimming & diving program, sources close to the program say.

Update: Assistant coach Steve Mellor, who led the LSU sprint group that included Tokyo 2020 Olympian Brooks Curry, will remain with the program under Bishop.

Bishop, who has been a party-of-interest for several high profile collegiate coaching positions this offseason, has spent the last 8 seasons as an associate head coach at the University of Michigan. There, he helped lead the women’s program to 3 consecutive Big Ten Championships from 2016-2018 and back-to-back top 4 team finishes at the NCAA Championships in 2018 and 2019.

Among the swimmers who train primarily with Bishop are NCAA Champion, World Champion, and U.S. Open Record breaker Maggie MacNeil. Bishop is also the primary coach of Michigan post-grad Siobhan Haughey, who has broken a number of Hong Kong National Records and become a strong medal contender for this summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games.

Bishop leaves for Hong Kong on Friday morning for a pre-Olympic training camp and will travel to the Olympic Games with Haughey in July. Bishop has been writing the training for the National Team group in Hong Kong that includes Jamie Yeung and Ian Ho, who recently broke the Hong Kong record in the 50 free.

Bishop’s international appointments include as an assistant coach for the U.S. at the 2016 FINA Swimming World Championships in Canada and the 2017 World University Games in Taiwan. He also spent 2 years on the Brazilian National Team coaching staff, serving as an assistant coach at the 1995 World Championships in Rio and 1995 Pan American Games in Argentina. He led the Brazilian women’s team at the 1996 Olympic Games.

He also served as an assistant for Jamaica at the 1998 Pan American Games and the head coach for the Netherlands Antilles at the 2007 World Championships.

Prior to joining the staff at Michigan, Bishop spent 4 years working at USA Swimming working in the sport performance role. He also had stops as an assistant at Harvard (1988-91), the University of Memphis Tiger Swimming Club (1992-96), and with two of the most historic high school programs in the country: as an assistant at the famed Bolles School (1998-2002) as the head coach The Baylor School (2002-2006), and back at The Bolles School as the head coach in 2006.

Bishop replaces outgoing head coach Dave Geyer, who resigned from the program after 16 seasons with the Tigers, including the last 11 as head coach.

LSU has consistently qualified swimmers to NCAAs while Geyer has been at the helm, although they’ve been been unable to break into the top of the SEC as a team. At the 2021 SEC Championships, LSU finished 10th out of 12 women’s teams, and 9th out of 10 men’s teams. The highest the men’s and women’s teams finished at SEC over the past 11 years was 5th. The Tigers men took 5th in consecutive seasons (2011 & 2012), while the women’s team took 5th in 2011, 2012, and 2015.

LSU rising junior Brooks Curry, the 2020 SEC Champion in the 100 free as a freshman, qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team last week by placing 4th in that event in Omaha. That makes him the first American Olympian in program history. Curry trains primarily in the sprint group with associate head coach Steve Mellor.

Bishop is the second assistant to leave the Michigan staff this offseason. Nikki Kett announced in early April that she would be stepping away from coaching to pursue a dryside career.

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Anony-mous
1 month ago

Oof what a way to find out

EastMeetsWest
Reply to  Anony-mous
29 days ago

Not a great start…

Afrikanman
1 month ago

Rick is a very thorough guy and fine coach but I wonder if he is a good fit in Cajun Country??

SwimMom
Reply to  Afrikanman
29 days ago

Ummm, no

SwimFan91
Reply to  SwimMom
29 days ago

Why isn’t he?

SwimMom
Reply to  SwimFan91
14 days ago

Really? Do you want to know?

Samuli Hirsi
Reply to  Afrikanman
29 days ago

Les Miles was Michigan man and did good,

Ghost
Reply to  Samuli Hirsi
29 days ago

Until he didn’t! A bad example IMO

SUNY Cal
1 month ago

Wow, Michigan women’s team will be looking for a whole new staff this summer.

Joe Mama
Reply to  SUNY Cal
1 month ago

Thank goodness Michigan is a combined program. Mike Bottom, Josh White, and Sam Wensman have had great success the past two years. Maybe the women’s team can learn something from them.

Townley Hasbullah
Reply to  SUNY Cal
1 month ago

How will this affect the economy?

Ghost
Reply to  SUNY Cal
29 days ago

Mike might have to coach! 🙊

Last edited 29 days ago by Ghost
Guerra
1 month ago

Seems like a good hire. Best wishes to Rick!

Coach
1 month ago

Congratulations. Lots of changes in the SEC this year.

SwimFan NU
1 month ago

Wonder if MacNeil will move 👀

Swimmer
Reply to  SwimFan NU
29 days ago

Why the downvotes?

Captain Ahab
29 days ago

The universities keep recycling the same head coaches. Give some of these up young up in coming coaches a chance.

Samuli Hirsi
Reply to  Captain Ahab
29 days ago

to me swimming is much harder than other college sports like fb, you fail as a hc in school and it is much harder to get equally good spot or better in your later years.

Old Retired Guy
29 days ago

LSU RISING..!! GEAUX TIGERS…

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. 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, …

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