Ned Skinner Explains Move to Virginia Gators as Head Coach

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Reported by Robert Gibbs.

The Virginia Gators of Roanoke, Virginia, have announced that they have hired Ned Skinner as the new head coach. Skinner succeeds team founder and longtime head coach Doug Fonder at the helm of the program.

Skinner comes to the Gators after two years as the head coach of Hollins University, a women’s only Division 3 program, but is primarily known for leading the Virginia Tech Hokies for 20 years. Most notably, the Hokies men’s team won the ACC championship in 2014, ending a University of Virginia streak that began in 1999 and up to that point was only interrupted by a now-vacated Florida State title in 2007.

The Gators have been one of the top club teams in the nation over the last few year, producing top-ranked swimmers like Noah Bowers, Olivia Bray, Khali Fonder, Caroline Kulp, Keith Myburgh, Emma Muzzy, and Greg Reed, just to name a few. Former head coach Doug Fonder started the Gators in 1988, and since then the team has had success at multiple levels of the sport, sending swimmers to Olympic Trials and producing swimmers who’ve made an impact at the college level. Fonder currently serves as the President and CEO of the International Swim Coaches Association.


Music: Otis McDonald


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3 years ago

Interesting that Reed was named last, as he joined the Gators (officially) in August of 2014 and is currently the only member of the group listed to be a three time NCAA All American!

Reply to  DCR
3 years ago

The list of Gator swimmers are alphabetical, thus Reed is listed last but as you implied, not the least.

Kate Greenway
3 years ago

The Gators are blessed to have you, Ned!

olde coach
3 years ago

A true gentleman and everything you would want in a coach. My son swam for Ned back in the day at Central CONN. He and so many of his teammates have gone on to be very successful in their post swimming careers. They swam fast for Ned and he really stayed on top of their academics. In addition to doing well in their chosen careers, they have become great moms and dads. They were fortunate a have a terrific role model as a coach and this is what the ultimate goal of collegiate athletics should be. Thank you gain Ned and the Gators are indeed fortunate to have him leading their program. Best wishes for continued success in your new… Read more »

Fresh start, new beginning
3 years ago

The Gator Organization is so lucky to have not only an amazing coach but person leading the club. Such an awesome hire. Excited to see what the future holds for all involved!

Tara Skinner
3 years ago

Great interview. Great coach and an outstanding individual. He is a class act!

NM Coach
Reply to  Tara Skinner
3 years ago

100% AGREE! Great interview!

NM Coach
3 years ago

What happened in 2007 with the vacated title?

Reply to  NM Coach
3 years ago

FSU had some academic fraud issues. Turned out they would have won even without the “cheating” athletes, but the consequences were a vacated title. FYI: Neil Harper (currently at Arkansas) was the head coach. Additionally, in case you are curious, UVA finished 2nd.

Welcome to the ranks
3 years ago

Welcome to the ranks of AGE group swimming. Definitely different than the college ranks…….coach is gone on weekends from October – Mid August yearly in Age group swimming—-not just end of October – February for University.

Alex Hines
3 years ago

Excited to see what Ned is able to do for the program. Hands down the most personable and respectful coach I’ve been around at the collegiate level. Congrats Ned!

About Garrett McCaffrey

No one lives the sport of swimming like Garrett McCaffrey. A Division I swimmer who spent 4 years covering the sport as a journalist, now coaches club swimming and competes as a masters swimmer, Garrett truly lives the sport of swimming. After graduating from University of Missouri’s award winning journalism program …

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