After 14 seasons as the head coach of the South Carolina swimming & diving program, McGee Moody will ‘no longer lead the program,’ per a press release from Athletic Director Ray Tanner.
The release says the decision was a ‘mutual agreement between Moody and the athletics department.’
“The past year has been hard on everyone … athletes, coaches and administrators. We have poured everything into this past season,” said Moody.
“Over the past couple of years, I have not been satisfied with our results at the SEC level. I believe that tempting to pour more of myself into this job will affect my family, my health and those are things I am not ready to sacrifice. Therefore, we believe now is the right time to step away and give someone else the honor to lead the program. I am thankful to Ray Tanner and Chance Miller for the opportunity to lead such a prestigious program, and I look forward to following their success in the future.”
Under Moody’s tenure, the Gamecocks finished no higher than seventh on the men’s side and sixth on the women’s side at the SEC Championships. The men’s last seventh-place finish came in 2018, and they’ve finished ninth, tenth and tenth the last three seasons (including 2021’s meet). The women were sixth in 2011, and they were ninth in 2019 and 2020 and 11th in 2021.
Nationally, the men swam to top-20 finishes at every NCAA meet from 2015 to 2018, while the women finished top-30 at NCAAs in 2016, 2018 and 2019, including a 20th place finish in 2018. The men’s stretch nationally came with a few top distance swimmers leading the way, including Akram Mahmoud and Fynn Minuth, who excelled while coaching great Mark Bernardino was an associate head coach with the Gamecocks. After helping build up that distance group at South Carolina, Bernardino took a job on the NC State staff in 2018, where he’s been since.
At the helm of the South Carolina program, Moody’s teams amassed 143 career men’s and women’s dual meet wins, the most of any Carolina coach in history. The program had 74 All-Americans and 48 All-SEC performers under his tenure, and three athletes have competed at the Olympics while he was head coach: Akram Mahmoud and diver Julia Vincent in 2016 and Sharntelle McLean in 2008.
Moody also coached the program’s first-ever female swimming SEC Champion, Amanda Rutqvist. She won the 200 breast in 2011.
Prior to coming to Carolina, Moody was the head swim coach at William & Mary for three seasons and was the Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year in 2007. Before William & Mary, Moody spent four seasons as an assistant men’s swimming coach at Navy from 2001 to 2004.
Moody’s first coaching gig was at his alma mater, East Carolina University, where he was the top assistant swim coach for both men and women from 1996-2000. Moody swam all four years while he was a student at ECU.
Per the school’s release, there is a national search for a new head coach that will begin immediately. While no men are expected to be invited to the 2021 NCAA Men’s Championships, Gamecock sophomore Janie Smith is an invite on the women’s side. She hit a 48.69 in the 100 free at the 2021 SEC Championships to snag an invite seeded 35th, while she has ‘B’ cuts in the 100 fly and 50 free, too.