Gardner-Webb University announced today that Mike Blum will return to the school as head coach for the 2019-2020 season. Blum previously worked at Gardner-Webb as an assistant during the 2011-2012 season. He replaces Scott Teeters, who left one season after replacing longtime coach Mike Simpson.
Blum has served in a variety of positions since he was last in Boiling Springs. Last season, he was an assistant at UNC, a school which just announced yesterday that they’d hired Mark Gangloff as head coach after Rich DeSelm‘s departure earlier this spring. Prior to that, Blum spent three seasons as head coach at Florida Southern College, as well as previously serving as an assistant there and on staff at several club/YMCA teams.
Gardner-Webb competes in the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association, where last season the men placed 4th out of 7 teams, and the women’s team placed 8th out of 9 teams.
While Blum’s departure from UNC doesn’t create another vacant head coach position as the springtime Division I head coach carousel continues to revolve, it will mean that Gangloff will need to fill at least one spot on his staff.
Courtesy of Gardner-Webb Athletics
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb has announced the hiring of Mike Blum as head coach of its men’s and women’s swimming programs in advance of the 2019-20 season.
Blum, who was an assistant at Gardner-Webb for the 2011-12 season, returns after most recently spending time on the staff at the University of North Carolina, where he helped guide seven swimmers to qualify for the 2019 NCAA Division I Championships.
Prior to joining the staff at North Carolina, Blum was the head coach at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla. for three seasons. His teams totaled 45 NCAA Division II qualifiers, and had 88 NCAA D-II All-American award winners. He had two relay teams win NCAA championships, as well as one individual championship and was named the 2016 CSCAA Men’s Swimming National Coach of the Year.
“I would like to thank Vice President for Athletics Chuck Burch and the Gardner-Webb University administration for this amazing opportunity,” Blum said. “This is a special team and I feel honored to have been chosen to be a part of it. My family and I are excited to get back to Boiling Springs and we are excited to raise our son in such an amazing community. We are looking forward to the to the upcoming season and many more after.”
Blum was an assistant at Florida Southern for two different three-year stints, where his swimmers won seven NCAA D-II national championships and earned 56 All-American honors. He also saw two swimmers qualify for the 2013 World Championships and one qualifier for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
Blum was an assistant for the 2011-12 season at Gardner-Webb, in which his swimmers set six new school records. That season, the men’s team placed third at the 2012 Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) Championships, while the women’s squad took home a fourth-place result.
“Mike has great experience, shares an understanding of the overall mission here at Gardner-Webb University and will be a tremendous leader for our swim programs going forward,” Vice President for Athletics Chuck Burch said. “His vision for the programs and commitment to the overall development of our student-athletes are parallel to our expectations. We are excited to have him on campus soon.”
Since March 2012, Blum has also been the head coach and owner of the Lakeland Area Swimming club program, guiding numerous Florida Age Group qualifiers and champions, and instructed swimmers that took part in the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics in the 400-meter freestyle and the 100-meter butterfly.
He also spent time as an assistant senior coach at the Venice YMCA in Sarasota, Fla from August 2010 to March 2011, where he coached four FHSAA state qualifiers, one FHSAA state champion, one Senior National and Olympic Trials qualifier and the 2011 Florida Swimming Senior Championship team champions.
Blum, who is originally from New Port Richey, Fla., is a 2008 graduate of Florida Southern College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education.