Matt King has announced that he will be transferring to the University of Virginia beginning in the 2021-2022 season. King entered the transfer portal after his freshman year at the University of Alabama. He has three remaining years of NCAA eligibility.
King saw immediate improvements once he joined Alabama. He was champion in the 100 free and runner-up in the 50 free at the SEC Championships. He went a 18.96 to touch second behind the University of Florida’s Adam Chaney. King began the season with a best time of 19.70 in the 50 and 43.22 in the 100. He won the 100 free at SEC’s, touching 0.14 seconds ahead of LSU’s Brooks Curry in a time of 41.66.
He ended the 2020-2021 season as the third-fastest freshman of all time in the 100 free, and was nearly in the top 5 in the 50 free. He touched 5th in the 100 free (41.76) at the NCAA DI Championships and was disqualified in the 50 for a false start. His best time would have finished 5th in finals. He led off Alabama’s 400 free relay, lowering his best time to 41.63.
King’s times from the SEC champs would have earned him a silver and a gold medal at the ACC champs. He would have touched second behind Matt Brownstead of Virginia in the 50 free, and he would have won the conference title in the 100 free. Brownstead was also a freshman last season.
Top SCY Times:
- 50 free – 18.96
- 100 free – 41.63
- 200 free – 1:38.03
- 100 fly – 47.21
The move will allow him to train alongside NCAA B-finalist Brownstead for three years. Brownstead won the B-final of the 100 free at NCAA’s in a time of 42.12. He also touched 11th in the 50 free. He holds the school records in the 50 free (18.88) and 100 free (41.87).
King will be swimming under the direction of head coach Todd DeSorbo who was recently named as one of the assistant coaches for the U.S. Olympic team in Tokyo.
He originally verbally committed to swim for Indiana, but changed his decision when Indiana assistant coach Coley Stickels was named as the head coach at Alabama. Stickels resigned mid-way through the 2020-2021 season after a year and a half in the position. It was announced that Margo Greer would take over. This would be her first paid coaching position. Colton Stogner, Andrew Shea, Lia Bell, Alec Dixon, and Nico Hernandez-Tome also entered the transfer portal.
For Virginia, a team that was 9th last season at the NCAA Championship meet, this is a huge step up the ladder in their quest to join the women’s program as NCAA Champions. Only 10 NCAA freshmen in history have been sub-19 seconds in the 50 yard free, and two of them are now Cavaliers. With Jack Aikins, the second-fastest sprinter in the high school class of 2021 at 19.68, joining the team this fall, the Cavaliers have a monstrous, and very young, sprint foundation returning to Charlottesville in the fall.