Sierra Marlins Swim Team head coach Rob Collins has been announced as the newest addition to the University of Tennessee coaching staff. Collins will join the team as an assistant coach under head coach Matt Kredich, along with associate head coach of the women’s team Ashley Jahn and fellow assistant coaches Rich Murphy and Josh Huger. Collins announced the move on Facebook:
So excited to announce that I have position on staff with the legendary Tennessee Vols!
Huge thank you to @mkredich for trusting me with the opportunity of a lifetime. Sarah and I could not be more grateful to go to Tennessee, and I could not be more blessed to work with such a phenomenal staff!
Thank you Sierra Marlins for allow me the opportunity to lead this great program over the last 4 years. It has truly been a dream come true and I will miss you all more than words can describe. I’m sad to leave but know that Tim and staff will continue what we built with incredible passion. Love you all
See ya’ll on Rocky Top!!
Collins will be filling the spot that was left by former Tennessee assistant coach Lance Asti who stepped down from his position to pursue interests outside of swimming.
The move to the University of Tennesse for Collins is his first collegiate coaching position following his 4-season run as CEO and head coach of the Sierra Marlins Swim Team in Folsom, California. Collins took over the Sierra Marlins after the likes of 3-time Olympian Haley Anderson and 2020 Olympian Bryce Mefford had moved on from the club but has since developed a number of successful swimmers.
Namely, Collins coached Bryce Mefford‘s brother Colby Mefford in his final few season before he joined his brother at the University of California back in 2019. At Wave I of the 2021 US Olympic Trials, Colby Mefford represented the Sierra Marlins and managed to pull off a 1st place finish in the 200 backstroke and 2nd in the 200 fly which was good enough to earn him a spot at Wave II. Mefford swam 3 events at Wave II and wound up 28th in the 200 fly, 28th in the 200 back, and 41st in the 400 free.
A number of Collins’ swimmers have made commitments to top schools over the past season including Amber Myers who will be joining Collins at the University of Tennessee in the Fall of 2021. Myers fellow 2021 high school graduate Emily Cooley will make the move to Northwestern, while Eric Thomure and Cole Lanting have both committed to swim at Seattle University, Olivia Garrison to Westmount College, and Kacey Ross to the University of Jamestown.
The Sierra Marlins received their second-straight National Club Excellence Program gold medal designation, having scored 17,225 2021 Club Excellence points. It has not yet been announced who will take over as head coach of the Sierra Marlins upon Collins’ departure, although Collins’ post indicates senior coach Tim McCormick will lead the team for at least the time being.