Report: Hugo Gonzalez to Transfer to Cal Next Semester

by Spencer Penland 70

December 22nd, 2018 College, News, Pac-12

Hugo Gonzalez, one of the biggest breakout stars in the NCAA last season, is set to join the University of California as a student this coming January, according to the news site Nataccion. You can read their original reporting on Gonzalez here. This comes following a recent report that Gonzalez was looking at transferring to either Cal of Florida for next semester. SwimSwam has reached out to learn whether Gonzalez will be immediately eligible to compete for Cal in the 2nd semester of this year, but we haven’t yet received a response.

Gonzalez originally came to the U.S. to compete with Auburn University last season. Following Sergio Lopez‘ announcement that he would be taking over as head coach at Virginia Tech, Gonzalez also announced he would be transferring to VT to stay with Lopez. However, Gonzalez then announced in September that he would be returning to Spain to train instead of attending VT.

Gonzalez is a Spanish Record-holder, World Junior Record-holder, 2016 Olympic semifinalist, and 2018 European Championships finalist. In his freshmen season with Auburn, Gonzalez was the SEC champion in the 400 IM (3:35.76), runner-up in the 200 IM (1:40.67), and 3rd place finisher in the 200 back (1:40.82). He was slightly off those performances at NCAAs last year, only scoring in the 200 IM, where he came in 10th.

If Gonzalez is cleared to compete next semester, it will be a pretty big shake-up to what already looks to be a fierce battle for the NCAA title. Cal would be picking up the 3rd fastest SCY 400 IM’er in history, and the 7th fastest 200 IM’er in the NCAA last year (4th fastest returner from last year). Gonzalez also has scoring potential in the 200 back. On top of that, Hugo has a 200 free best time of 1:34.79, which should provide a boost to the Cal 800 free relay, which is likely their worst of the five relays, at least at this point in the season.


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Hugo deserves to find the best school for him to thrive academically, athletically, and socially. I hope Cal can be that place for him.
But I can’t shake the feeling that it would amount to a cheap win if this move brings Cal the NCAA title.

Joel Lin

He’s entitled to transfer to the place he wants to be for his geographic, academic, athletic & social preferences. Cal is going to take it this year & good on them. Roll on you Bears.

The Black Line

no cheaper than diving carrying UT to championships year after year


Last year, the diving points clearly made the difference in UT winning the Men’s NCAA meet. However, I believe in each of the 3 years before, the diving points didn’t make the difference in the win.


Cal and NC State out swam the horns last year. Cal doesn’t need swimming points it needs diving points.


UGA women’s track team won Indoor NCAA track champs last year with only field events. no running events and no relays! It is track and field! Diving is just another event …you can compare it to track and field!


In swimming and diving, divers count as ‘half a person’ with regards to the roster limit. So 2 divers can go for one roster spot but those divers score as much as one swimmers spot. Diving can potentially score close to double the points if the school invests in it.

Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger

Divers can’t get relay points, though. So probably not double the impact, at least compared to any swimmer who swims a leg on the double-points relays at NCAAs.


Would that be for all 14?


I am appalled that Cal would use scholarship money to recruit a high-level swimmer in order to perform better and EQUALLY appalled at Texas for putting emphasis on training people to score in the events offered. How exactly do these guys think this system works?

Just kidding, I agree that they are equally cheap (in that I don’t think there’s anything cheap about either of those).

Bay City Tex

“Year after year?” Swimswam’s research dept. can tell us how many of Horn natty’s required swimming to push them over the top. Out of the Horns’ Ncaa leading total, I would bet less than four
of them required diving points to win. “Year after year” is just laughable!

2018, we all know diving did make a difference for Texas.
2017, 23 diving points, 193 total points
2016, 60 diving points, 189.5 total points
2015 similar story

So, it’s 1 out of the last 4.

Bay City Tex

Braden, has there ever been a Longhorn natty,
other than 2018, where they needed the diving points to win it all?

Yes. It’s hard to check them all because results for older NCAA Championship meets are hard to come by. But, in 2010, my math has them at 54 diving points and they beat Cal by 30.5 points. In 2002, they beat Stanford by 11 and had 113 diving points (Texas and Stanford were way ahead of everyone else that year). Texas also scored a boatload of divivng points in 2001, though that year they had a 140 point margin, so it didn’t mean as much – same story in 2000, tons of diving points, but also a huge margin of victory. No divers in 1996 (Troy Domais on the 2000, 2001, and 2002 title team sort of launched the modern… Read more »

Bay City Tex

Thank you for the research! 6 of the last nine nattys were won without diving making the difference. Matt Scoggin was a very important Eddie hire!

Bay City Tex

Six of the last nine nattys won by the Horns required zero points from diving to win. Year after year is not even close to being a true statement.
Braden’s research only goes back to the last nine.

Foreign Embassy

How is it a cheap win? Like how Texas won the meet but lost the swimming portion? 😜


It’s called Swimming and Diving. Any team trying to make a run for the championship should have a strong diving program. Not sure why Cal is still lagging in that area.


Yeah it’s super easy to build a world class diving program. No clue why they are actively neglecting that.

Well, until recently they didn’t have a platform on campus and had to go to Stanford to train. Wonder if they’ll concentrate more there now that they do…


While it certainly takes time to build a world class diving program, a coach can only do so much in the 4 years he/she has the athletes. They really need to be able to attract divers that are already at a high level. That is hard to do if Cal offers no scholarship money to divers. You get what you pay for.

Foreign Embassy

Swimming in dec-mar at Berkeley is cold enough outdoors. I would imagine diving being even more challenging to train…

Stanford has proven that the weather in the Bay Area does not preclude building a big-time diving program.


I have been going to meets in Berkeley for years. Cal’s dual meets are usually late January (not December). Rarely bad weather for a meet. Cal starts its PAC12 duals this winter in Arizona at the end of January. Stanford and Cal do not have a lot of rain outs. Yes, it can be chilly on an occasion, but we dress accordingly.


Cheap win? That would only be true if he was a diver lol.


you wanna live in market economy, sometimes it means cheap wins but you cannot choose wins… AND STOP THIS IDIOTIC BS ABOUT DIVING, it is swimming and diving champs, deal with it or play more fornite….

Right Dude Here

Chuck Katis all over again.

WV Swimmer

but better


And Matt Josa


And Tony whatever his face from Auburn.

Foreign Embassy

Tony Cox


Hmmm. What are the odds of him being cleared to compete? Is it likely?


Very likely


How? Just curious, I was under the impression student athletes must uphold a certain level of purist of degree in order to remain eligible. I assume if Gonzalez went home to train he wasn’t upholding these NCAA expectations.

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