DALLAS (SMU) – SMU head women’s swimming coach Steve Collins is headed to his sixth Olympic Games following his appointment to the Bulgarian staff, as announced by the country’s National Olympic Committee. Collins also coached the team in 2012 and was the on the Slovakian staff in 2008, 2004, 2000 and 1996.
Collins is entering his 31st year with the Mustangs and is a two-time NCAA Coach of the Year and 11-time conference Coach of the Year. In the past 20 seasons, SMU has earned 17 conference championships, and he has led the team to 15 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships. The Mustangs had their highest finish ever at the NCAA Championships in 1996 when they placed second.
“I’m very excited,” Collins said of his nomination. “Last week we got the official word from the Bulgarian Olympic Committee that I’d be nominated as a coach so I’m going to be able to accompany Nina [Rangelova] to the Olympic Games. It’s just a great opportunity for me and a great opportunity for SMU as well.”
Under Collins, 58 individuals have earned 240 All-America nods, and 98 relays have been honored. The individual and relay conference championships total 331, and 30 student-athletes have qualified for nine different Olympics. Collins’ swimmers at SMU have earned medals at the Olympic Games, World Championships, World University Games, European Championships, Pan American Games, Mediterranean and African Championships.
Collins mentored 1997 NCAA Swimmer of the Year Martina Moravcova, who won two silver medals at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, and also competed in the 1992, 1996, 2004 and 2008 Games. Six former or current Mustangs competed in the 2012 summer games in London, while four are slated to compete in Rio in 2016.
Rangelova is one of six current or former Mustang men and women qualified for the Games. The event runsAug. 5-21, with swimming taking place Aug. 6-13. For more information on swimming in Rio, visit the Olympic website here.
Isabella Arcila (Colombia)
Julian Fletcher (Bermuda)
Jonathan Gomez (Colombia)
Rachel Nicol (Canada)
Nina Rangelova (Bulgaria)
Matea Samardzic (Croatia)
Swimming news courtesy of SMU Swimming & Diving.