Nevada hires former FSU coach Neil Harper as new women’s head coach

The University of Nevada has found a new head coach for its women’s program, tabbing Neil Harper of the Aiken-Augusta Swim League.

Harper is probably better known for his tenure at Florida State, where he was the head coach for 14 seasons before being let go in the spring of 2013.

He landed at the Aiken-Augusta Swim League that summer, and has been with the Augusta, Georgia-based club team ever since.

But now Harper will get another shot at leading a program in the NCAA. Nevada needed a new head coach after Abby Steketee left the program to take over the Northwestern Wildcats’ women’s job, and it appears Nevada will bring in Harper to fill the void. Harper sent an email to his Aiken-Augusta team today announcing that he’d taken the Nevada job, sources say.

Harper was a three-time ACC Coach of the Year at Florida State, winning the award in 2004, 2006 and 2007, and prior to that, coached at Ohio State in a head coaching role. He was a college All-American during his swimming days for the LSU Tigers, and also competed for Great Britain in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games.

Nevada, a women’s-only swimming & diving program, finished third at last year’s Mountain West Championships. They return both of their NCAA point-scorers from a year ago: rising senior Yawen Li was the Mountain West Swimmer of the Year and took 9th at NCAAs in the 400 IM. Diver Krysta Palmer also returns for her senior year after taking 10th nationally on the 3-meter springboard.

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Nick B

Congrats coach!!

Ian R

Congratulations Neil! Nevada is lucky to have you. Harper’s Harper’s Golden Army!


Neil will be missed at ASL. Under Neil’s leadership, 7 current graduates will be swimming in college next year, with 4 at major Division 1 programs. In addition, a few of this year’s rising seniors are being heavily recruited by D1 programs. Best wishes Neil!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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