NCAA Champion Robert Howard to Join IU Pro Group After Summer Nationals

NCAA Champion and recent University of Alabama graduate Robert Howard will join veteran coach Jonty Skinner – who was named associate head sprint coach at Indiana University this month – in Bloomington after the 2019 Phillips 66 National Championships in August, he told SwimSwam Tuesday.

“It was a hard decision to leave Tuscaloosa, but the chemistry Jonty Skinner and I have built over the past 4 years is not something I want to leave one year out from Trials,” Howard said. “It was especially hard considering the improvements to Alabama’s pool in the fall, but the pro environment in Indiana is a great opportunity for me. Alabama will forever be in my heart, but I have to see this goal out and I think this move will help put me in the best position to succeed. Roll Tide!”

Howard added that he already had plans in Tuscaloosa for this summer, which is why he will wait until after Nationals to make the move.

The decorated IU pro group includes Blake PieroniCody MillerZane Grothe and Annie Lazor, as well as recent graduates Lilly KingZach Apple, and Vini Lanza, among others. The group is notably losing some sprinters, however, as Olympians Ryan Held and Ali Khalafalla, as well as multi-time Worlds medalist Margo Geer, are following former Indiana sprint coach Coley Stickels to Alabama as he was named head coach last month.

The Alabama native Howard had a career season last school year, taking home SEC titles in both the 50 and 100 free in February. At the 2019 NCAA Championships, he finished third in the 50 free and fifth in the 100, then anchored his team’s first-place 200 medley relay in 18.22. At Nationals last summer, Howard finished eighth in the 50 free, going a best time of 22.17 in prelims, and 11th in a PR of 48.67.

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Smart decision!


Disagree. IU seems like a disaster.



Their pros have been doing fantastic lately


What about Chris Reid? Is he staying in Bama or going with Jonty?

2eni0r 2eas0n

Bruh he swapped with Ryan Held

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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