Sierra Marlins Head Coach Rob Collins To Join Tennessee Volunteers As Assistant

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.

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DJTrockstoYMCA
1 month ago

Good luck! Go ratcoon hatted Vols!!

SwimFan19
1 month ago

Uhhhh…this seems like not the hire the Vol men need to catch up to the rest of the SEC. With Texas joining soon, and the Vols already not on par with recruiting nor performance, seems unlikely any significant progress is going to happen. Collins hasn’t really coached any elite level athletes and from what it sounds like, Tim McCormick does most of the actual coaching of the Marlins top swimmers as is.

swimmer5
Reply to  SwimFan19
1 month ago

Tim is a phenomenal coach and has played huge role at Marlins, but I think of you ask Rosie Murphy (UCLA commit), Amber Myers (TENN Commit) Ava Chavez (top recruit), Morgan Gore (Auburn commit), Ben Dillard (at USC) or Colby Mefford (at Cal) to name a few they would tell you how influential and present Rob has been on a daily basis in their swimming AND their lives. Also – seems like a lot of talent in that group, though they will only get credit for the talent once in a college program.

Hmmmm
Reply to  SwimFan19
1 month ago

Not to mention all of the vacation days Rob takes….

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  Hmmmm
1 month ago

If his contract/employment allows him to take X amount of vacation days, then he has a right to take X amount of vacation days.

The Crimson Chin
Reply to  Hmmmm
1 month ago

What is he Elon Musk? Do you have any idea the amount of stress being a Head Coach puts on a person? Type in “Good Mental Health” and see if it say “don’t take vacation days” in there. You wanted his full attention 365? He’s not allowed to live a life and find balance between home and swim? This is something we should teach swimmers but ignore for ourselves? This mans gotta have poor mental health for you to be happy that he’s getting this great opportunity? What’s a good amount of free time for him? 14 days a year? Were gonna hold him to that 14 limit but gonna exclude any Saturdays he worked and how many 3 day… Read more »

Hmmmm
Reply to  The Crimson Chin
1 month ago

I’m all for a work/life balance and good mental health. However, Rob’s attendance was a joke amongst the senior swimmers and parents. Especially since he would have lots of meetings/appointments/emergencies that were displayed on his social media accounts as nights out on the town.
Pro Tip: don’t let your swimmers follow your social media accounts.

Last edited 1 month ago by Hmmmm
The Chrimson Chin
Reply to  Hmmmm
1 month ago

**slowly moonwalks out the door**

Oh….. Ok

Coachy
Reply to  SwimFan19
1 month ago

More club coach hate.

“He’s only developed athletes, he probably has no clue what to do with them after that!”

Beyonce Enthusiast
1 month ago

Welcome back to Rocky Top!!! Way to go Rob ✊

Curious George
1 month ago

Tennessee getting some flack but there 21 women are some of the best in the entire ncaa and 22 men have domestic and international studs

Blairt
1 month ago

Bizarre hire. No college experience and no elite swimmers ever coached. Was hoping they would bring in a big name and take the men up a notch. Dont see how this helps recruiting or the performance end.

Anti-colonialism
1 month ago

Tennessee about to get burned by the system USA Swimming created. Recruit talent, merge with every team you find, climb club excellence by embracing colonialism and then bounce for the bigger job. Tennessee will get what they pay for.

Armchair
Reply to  Anti-colonialism
1 month ago

What does “embracing colonialism” mean?

Anti-colonialism
Reply to  Armchair
1 month ago

Colonialism – the extension of (a nation’s) sovereignty over territory beyond its borders by the establishment of either settler colonies or administrative dependencies in which indigenous populations are directly ruled or displaced.

…Aka when you merge/absorb/take over teams for the sake of increasing numbers because ‘large’ is so commonly presented as ‘good’ in USA Swimming.

Coachy
Reply to  Anti-colonialism
1 month ago

I don’t think you meant to use “aka” there……

Interesting
1 month ago

The focus is too much on which elite kids someone has coached. That doesn’t necessarily define a good coach. It’s whether they can elevate the level of the collective group of swimmers. Plenty of coaches have one elite swimmer but that doesn’t make them good. From what I remember he was a senior coach for Tennessee Aquatics around the time they were top five at juniors. I’m sure Kredich got to see plenty of his ability to rally a group of swimmers to swim beyond their potential. It’s a good hire and will fit the program well

Observer
Reply to  Interesting
1 month ago

I gotta say I agree with this. I would MUCH rather they hire a coach who had been working with kids at a higher year round level. The last thing I want to read in this article is that Tennessee hired some 22 year old coach who spent 1 year as a volunteer coach. Florida just did it and I think that’s a way worse decision than bringing in someone they know and has leadership experience.

1. A championship meet is a championship meet. College and USA swimming makes no difference if you know how to get them to act like a unit.

2. Are most college kids 18 to 19 years old…just cause they are a hair… Read more »

SwimFan19
Reply to  Interesting
1 month ago

Agree that coaching one elite kid doesn’t mean you are prepared to coach a team. But TNAQ wasn’t top 5 at Juniors under Rob (maybe under Gardner back during the Pilot era?). The Vols needed a better hire to turn things around, and this is not the guy.

Alum14
1 month ago

Why are people talking about this hire hot elevating the program??

He sounds like he’s got a lot of qualifications, and he’s filling an UNPAID position. Think he will do just fine bringing more value to the program!

College Swim
Reply to  Alum14
1 month ago

It’s not unpaid..it’s one of the assistant positions.

ACC fan
Reply to  Alum14
1 month ago

I read this a a volunteer position as well, thinking unpaid. Then on a double take it’s the mascot. Article title is a bit confusing.

swimtothemoon24
Reply to  Alum14
1 month ago

They’re all Volunteers 😉