SMU Hires Keith Dawley as New Assistant Coach

The SMU men’s swimming and diving team has announced the hiring of Keith Dawley as its new assistant coach. Dawley takes over for Mitch Dansky, who in May was announced as a new assistant coach at Notre Dame. Dawley is a native of Dallas/Fort Worth

The position at SMU is Dawley’s 5th program in 5 seasons. Over the last 3 seasons, he had 1-year stints at TCU, Miami (OH), and Virginia, respectively. Prior to that, he spent 2 seasons with the University of Houston, who swims in the same AAC conference as SMU does.

That 5-year run includes two different programs where the head coach was relieved of their duties mid-season, and where Dawley finished the season as interim head coach, at the University of Houston in 2015, and TCU in 2018; and 3 of his prior 4 stops, the end of his tenure has coincided with the departure of his head coach.

Dawley’s coaching history

  • SMU, assistant coach – (2018-present)
  • TCU, assistant coach/interim head coach – (2017-2018)
  • Miami (OH), assistant coach – (2016-2017)
  • Virginia, assistant coach – (2015-2016)
  • University of Houston, assistant coach/interim head coach – (2013-2015)
  • East Carolina University, assistant coach (2009-2013)

As an athlete, Dawley started his collegiate career at Indiana before transferring to South Carolina, where he graduated with a degree in sport and entertainment management in 2009.

In his last job, at TCU, Dawley coached primarily the distance group. As a team, the TCU men saw a 34.5-point improvement at the Big 12 Championships in Dawley’s one season there, while the women jumped 26.6 points. Combined, the teams set 10 school records last season, though both finished in last place in the Big 12 (the men were 3rd out of 3, the women 5th out of 5).

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With SMU’s fantastic new swimming/diving facility, hopefully he’ll find it to be a long-term home!

Brendon Bray

Congrats to keith and SMU! He will do a great job!

Gray Tedder

Congrats Keith!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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