South African National Champion Duné Coetzee Verbals to Georgia for 2021

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South Africa’s Duné Coetzee has verbally committed to the University of Georgia for fall of 2021, joining the class of 2025. She currently goes to school at Afrikaanse Hoër Meisieskool in Pretoria and trains with University of Pretoria Aquatics (TUKS).

At the 2019 South African National Championships in April, Coetzee won national titles in the 400 free (4;14.27) and 200 fly (2:10.89).

“I’m very proud to announce my verbal commitment to the University of Georgia to start in the fall of 2021! I’m embarking on a life-changing journey and I believe the University of Georgia and the staff within their swimming program will offer me the world-class support I’ll need along the way. To everyone who shaped me for who I am today, including my family and my coach Linda de Jager, thank you with all my heart. A special thank you to my home swimming club Tuks and its staff whom I’ve represented with pride since I was a little 9-year-old girl. I will strive to make all of you and my country proud and will give my new team everything I’ve got and learned from all of you! GO DAWGS!!!!”


  • 100m free – 57.38 / 50.25
  • 200m free – 2:01.09 / 1:46.20
  • 400m free – 4:14.27 / 4:44.89
  • 800m free – 8:47.97 / 9:51.56
  • 100m fly – 1:00.01 / 52.80
  • 200m fly – 2:10.89 / 1:55.39

In 2019, Coetzee went on to compete for South Africa at the World Championships and the World Junior Championships. At Worlds, she was 20th in the 200 fly, 23rd in the 400 free, and 24th in the 800 free, hitting a lifetime best in the 800. At World Juniors, Coetzee would go on to the 200 fly final, placing eighth, while she also made the 100 fly semifinals.

Coetzee’s converted times are very strong; she would’ve been an A-finalist in the 200 fly, a B-finalist in the 100 fly, a B-finalist in the 200 free, and a C-finalist in the 500 free at the 2019 SEC Championships with those conversions. Georgia is known for being especially strong in the mid-distance free and the 200 fly as a program; last year, they took the 500 free SEC title thanks to Courtney Harnish and they put three swimmers into the 200 fly SEC A-final including champion Olivia Carter (who has since transferred to Michigan).

Coetzee’s converted time in the 200 fly is also under what it took to make NCAAs last season (1:56.18). She’ll get to campus right after Harnish and distance swimmer Olivia Anderson will have just graduated, and have a year of overlap with top butterflier Dakota Luther.

Georgia has an exceptional class of 2025 on the women’s side so far. Coetzee joins Lily GardnerElsa FretzMary MartinMia Abruzzo, and #18 Rachel Stege for fall of 2021.

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Lane 8
1 year ago

Of course another huge pickup for the Dawgs! You deserved it!

Reply to  Lane 8
1 year ago


Reply to  Superfan
1 year ago

that new and improved academic program is working wonders for the dawgs, now that jack is not doing homework he has time to get out and recruit

1 year ago

Is she related to Ryan Coetzee that went to Tennessee? Also from South Africa.

Figured she was UGA bound after her bf committed. Solid pickup!

Swim Fan
Reply to  VFL
1 year ago

Not related to Ryan. Don’t think a decision of this magnitude is based on where her bf goes. She is a solid mid distance and 200 fly swimmer which compliments UGA strength.

Reply to  Swim Fan
1 year ago

I can imagine it certainly made some impact.

Willem Coetzee
Reply to  DravenOP
1 year ago

I’m her dad – I can assure you it didn’t – funny that still in today’s age there is this perception that a girl or woman won’t make a decision that is best for her without people cheapening it by attaching it to a man. Not ha ha funny though!

Reply to  VFL
1 year ago

Not related

Reply to  SEC
1 year ago

^^confirmed, no relation. We asked.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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