NAIA Power SCAD Looking for a New Head Swimming Coach for the 2nd Straight Year

The Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) is looking for a new head coach for the second time in two seasons.

While the school has not responded to SwimSwam’s request for comment, sources say that Dave Gendernalik resigned from his position after one season leading the bees.

SCAD had their worst finish in years at the 2024 NAIA National Championship meet. The women finished 7th and the men finished 5th at the meet a year after the women finished 2nd and the men 3rd in Bill Pilczuk’s final year leading the program.

The SCAD women won the NAIA Championship as recently as 2020, and neither team had previously finished outside of the top three at the NAIA Championships since the men placed 4th in 2013.

The SCAD women won three consecutive NAIA Championships from 2018 through 2020. The SCAD men were NAIA runners-up for six consecutive years prior to 2023.

Gendernalik came to SCAD from NCAA Division I Georgia Southern, where he primarily served as an assistant coach. He also spent part of last season as the interim head coach, taking over in September when Amanda Caldwell left after classes began to take over the program at Tulane. The school would eventually hire Allyson Sweeney as the permanent replacement, but retained Gendernalik as an assistant.

He also spent a year as a graduate assistant at Georgia Southern.

Most of his coaching resume comes from Dexter, Michigan, where he served as the head coach of the Dexter Community Aquatic Club from 2002 until 2021, when he left for Georgia Southern.

He also spent 5 years as the school district’s Aquatics Manager, which included opening the Dexter Swim School.

Gendernalik is a 2003 graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a degree in political science and a minor in marketing, though he did not swim on the varsity there. In high school, he was a member of the runner-up 1999 Class B Michigan State Champions and NISCA Class 2 Dual Meet National Champions for the Lakeview High School Spartans.

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1 month ago

Still would like to know what happened to Bill Pilczuk…

1 month ago

The program needs someone who understands the swimmers are there to be artists. It’s an art school

Reply to  Soapy
1 month ago

Design too! Any athlete that wants a creative career should attend instead of just artists pretending they want to be swimmers, lying about it and stealing scholarships without giving the effort or ROI. They do as little as possible in March and April, re-sign scholarships and take off till Sept. Their motto is they are there for the art, not swimming. That’s hard to coach. You don’t know until you’re in his shoes, and they go to the AD to complain about everything. Covid changed the team. It will take a hard 4 years for someone to change it again.

Reply to  MajorTom
1 month ago

The coach sets the tone, and when the coach doesn’t actively care about the careers and passions of the athletes at an art and design school, you’ll attract athletes who don’t actively care about the trajectory and passions of that coach’s team.

SCAD deserves a coach who values swimming, art, and design equally and equitably. It has never had one.

Mike Jones
1 month ago

Brian smith??

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner 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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