Update: South Carolina announced the hire formally on Thursday afternoon. Original reporting is below.
University of South Carolina head coach Jeff Poppell has already announced his full swimming coaching staff, but isn’t done making changes. Sources tell SwimSwam that the school will soon announce the hiring of Dale Schultz from the University of Arkansas as the program’s new head diving coach.
Schultz will take over from Todd Sherritt, who had been at the school since 1993. During that time, he was named the SEC Diving Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2017, coached 4 Olympians, 1 NCAA Champion, 52 All-Americans, 15 SEC Champions, and 15 USA Diving National Champions.
Often, though not always, new head swim coaches retain the previous diving coaching staff.
A pair of Arkansas divers, Grace Walker and Maha Amer, entered the NCAA transfer portal this week, foreshadowing the move: the 13th and 14th Arkansas women to enter the portal during the 2020-2021 season. Schultz also coached his daughter Brooke at Arkansas. She’s an All-American, the 2019 SEC Diver of the Year, and 2017 World University Games silver medalist in the event. Brooke Schultz should have two years of NCAA eligibility remaining after a redshirt and the extra year granted to all athletes who competed in the 2020-2021 season.
Dale Schultz was hired at Arkansas in 2016, which was his third stint with the program. He was also the diving coach with the Razorbacks from 1989-2000 and 2008-2013. Those stops were intermingled with 2 seasons at the University of Florida, where he was named the 2016 Women’s Head Diving Coach of the Year. He also coached at Purdue, Idaho, and Northern Michigan at the collegiate level.
His career includes 6 SEC titles, 3 Conference Diving Coach of the Year honors, and 28 All-Americans.
Last season, Arkansas finished 8th at the SEC Championships and South Carolina finished 11th. At the women’s meet, Arkansas ranked 2nd among all schools with 166 diving points behind only the 191 scored by Texas A&M. South Carolina’s women scored just 18 diving points, ahead of only Vanderbilt, which scored 0. At the men’s meet, South Carolina scored 10 points, which was the fewest among SEC teams. Arkansas doesn’t sponsor a men’s swimming & diving team.
The South Carolina men’s group was hurt by the transfer of Anton Down-Jenkins to North Carolina, where he was named the 2021 ACC Men’s Diver of the Year.
South Carolina counts among its incoming fall 2021 recruits Florida High School State Champion Blair Isenhour and homegrown Columbia, South Carolina native Sophie Verzyl.