Maryland’s Schimmel Taking Over as Arkansas Head

Sean Schimmel will be announced Monday as the new head coach for the women of the University of Arkansas today, multiple sources have confirmed to us.

Schimmel is departing a Maryland program that will soon cease to exist after coaching both the men’s and women’s programs for the last three seasons. He has previous stops include as a top assistant at Harvard, but he also has plenty of experience in the SEC as he spent time as the associate head coach at LSU.

He had the Maryland women’s program on a great track before they received the axe, including a 22nd-place finish at NCAA’s in 2011. That includes over 20 All-American honors and multiple ACC championships.

Schimmel will go to an Arkansas job that was vacated when Jeff Poppell reutrned to Florida both to be closer to family, and for the lure of big-time high school swimming that first made him famous while at Bolles.

The Arkansas women placed 6th at SEC’s last year, 70 points behind Schimmel’s former team LSU. But with Amanda Kendall transferring from LSU to Arizona, that’s a gap that can be made up in a good year. The Lady Razorbacks are best known for the depth of their distance group, though Schimmel made his money at Maryland with sprinters of a variety of strokes.

But Poppell left Schimmel with some pieces to play with in that department, including some elite incoming talent. That includes Slovenian Nina Drolc, who has already been a 25.9 in the 50 free in long course and 56.7 in the 100 (and is equally adept at short course). Stephanie White will be just a sophomore next season, but led the Razorbacks in 2012 with a 49.8 in the 100 yard free. Another freshman, Nikki Daniels, was a 1:01.6 in the 100 breaststroke.

Schimmel will have some work to do to develop the backstroke and butterfly groups, but those are right in his coaching wheelhouse.

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7 Comments on "Maryland’s Schimmel Taking Over as Arkansas Head"

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Actually, Arkansas will be strongest in the backstroke events next year as they return 3 Olympic trials qualifiers in the 200 Back including SEC finalist Liz Braun. And they add newcomers Anna Mayfield an Olympic Trials qualifier in the 200 Back and Texas HS State Champion in the 100 Back as well as transfer sophomore Shana Lim who was an NCAA Qualifier in the 100 Back in 2011 with a 53.0. Schimmel will inherit a great team
to work with in his first year! Best of luck Sean!

How will this affect the assistant coaches at Arkansas?Or is Todd Mann heading to Florida as well…

Arkansas also brings in Rachel Stoehr, the Illinois State Champ in the 200/500 Free (148/449)

Does this mean Big Blue already has a coach in mind? Schimmel would have been a good fit in Ann Arbor.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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

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