Matt Ellis Transferring to the University of Texas

University of Georgia freshman Matt Ellis has chosen to transfer to the University of Texas next fall, he told SwimSwam today. “I love the school, coaches, and the guys here, but the sprint group just wasn’t here. Texas is the best place for me to be in route to Rio 2016,” Ellis said.

He will begin competing for the Longhorns in the fall of 2013 as a sophomore.

Ellis was the top sprint recruit in the high school class of 2012 after being the youngest swimmer to make the semifinal in the men’s 100 free at the 2012 US Olympic trials by four years. The next youngest was actually another Longhorn (Jimmy Feigen).

He placed 39th in the 100 yard fly with a 47.88 and 33rd in the 100 yard free with a 43.61 at his freshman NCAA Championship meet. His best times of the year, however, were all done at SEC’s where he swam a 19.6 in his 50 free, a 43.0 in his hundred free, and a 46.8 in his 100 fly.

That represents about half a second drop in each of his freestyle times from his high school bests and just over a second in 100 fly.

That sprint talent will be badly missed by Georgia and was also badly needed by Texas after the Longhorns graduated their top sprinters in two consecutive years: Jimmy Feigen and Dax Hill. The Georgia men are typically thin in the sprint freestyles, and were counting on four years from Ellis to help change that reputation.

The Longhorns become a serious NCAA team title threat for 2014, if they weren’t already, with this news. Their sprint group proved to be deeper last year than most knew (their own freshman John Murray had a great inaugural season), but a small recruiting class the year prior left them needing to reload. Eddie Reese has an outstanding class coming in next fall, and with Ellis and immediate-impact freshman Jack Conger joining the team, among others, their relay scoring will get a huge boost.

The Georgia men finished 10th at last year’s NCAA Championships, while Texas was 5th.

Austin is home for Ellis, as in high school he trained with the local Nitro Swimming club. He also trained with the University-based Longhorn Aquatics for 5 years earlier in his career.

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7 years ago

none of my business….but wonder how the scholarships worked out. Would have assumed that scholarship at UT was already accounted for…unless Coach Reese knew ahead of time. Regardless, feel bad for Coach Bauler…it’s hard to build a strong sprint core when there is no one willing to be the first (and that’s no blame to anyone…it’s a risk because there’s always a chance better recruits don’t follow). Goodluck to Matt, the longhorns, and the bulldogs!

7 years ago

Not surprising. I would transfer if i went best times too

Reply to  yo
7 years ago

He mentioned that his goals are long term, 2016, and if he feels that Georgia’s sprint training isn’t taking him there then he had to make a change. If he was focused on trials heading into his senior year then he wasn’t in position to go big times in yards, so maybe he felt like his times should be faster.

My thoughts are we don’t know what it was like for him and no one can judge his decision.

7 years ago

His LC best times from HS are comparable to his best times at UGA this season. He can and will go faster at TX.

Reply to  Dojo
7 years ago

His 49.24 was the 12th fastest American in the 100 LCM last year, and second (American) all-time behind one Mr. M. Phelps for 17&18 year olds. His SCY times did not reflect that at all this season.

Reply to  Paul McCall
7 years ago

Actually, his scy times did reflect his LC times. 49.26 is 43.0 converted LC to scy. His 19.6 and 46 high 100 fly were faster than his converted LC times.

Reply to  Coach2016
7 years ago

Converted times? Really?

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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