South Carolina Hires Jason Calanog As Men’s Associate Head Coach

Jason Calanog has been added to the South Carolina coaching staff for the upcoming season as an associate head coach of the men’s program. Calanog joins South Carolina head coach Jeff Poppell as both have previously coached at The Bolles School.

“I am truly excited that Jason has decided to join us at the University of South Carolina, and I have the utmost respect and confidence in his ability to help our men’s team climb the national collegiate rankings,” said Poppell. “I’ve known Jason for quite some time now and have always admired the passion and energy that he brings to the pool deck. His success on both the NCAA and world stages speaks for itself as he has developed some of the top athletes in our sport from NCAA Champions to World Championship medalists. We look forward to welcoming him, his wife Tracey, and their two boys to Columbia!”

Calanog most recently spent the last nine years as associate head coach of the Texas A&M men’s program. The program finished in the top 25 eight times during that period including a 10th place finish in 2021.

Calanog served as the director of recruiting on the men’s side and also helped coach names such as Baylor Nelson and Shaine Casas. Both swimmers represented the United States last summer at the 2023 World Championships.

Before arriving at Texas A&M, Calanog was the senior assistant coach at The Bolles School and Bolles Sharks in Jacksonville, Florida from 2007-2015. Notably, Poppell spent 13 years at Bolles before becoming the head coach at Arkansas in 2006. At Bolles, Calanog was the primary coach Caeleb Dressel during his high school career. Poppell was the associate head coach of the men’s and women’s programs at Florida, home to Dressel during his collegiate career, from 2016-2018.

Calanog began his collegiate coaching career at his alma mater West Virginia serving as a volunteer assistant during the 2006-2007 season. Calaong graduated from West Virginia in 2007.

Calanog moves within the SEC as the South Carolina men finished 9th out of 10 teams at the 2024 SEC Championships. The team sent one swimmer and one diver to the 2024 NCAA Championships. Connor Fry just finished his freshman season and swam in prelims of the 500 and 1650 freestyles at NCAAs.

Calanog helps fill the role that was left vacant by Duncan Sherrard. Sherrard joined the Texas A&M coaching staff that was combined this offseason.

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SwimSwam commenter
1 month ago

Sounds like this is a great hire for SC. Looks like poppell has made big strides with improving the women but has fallen flat with the men. Hopefully calanog can turn the men’s culture around and bring up the program!

1 month ago

Why did Calanog not get hired to replace Holmes?

Kaiser Soze
1 month ago

So this is really who Jeff is hiring to save his job?

Not sure it’ll be enough, but I guess they can always find jobs at Bolles Swim Camp.

Wheeler Walker Jr.
Reply to  Kaiser Soze
1 month ago

If his job was on the line this is about as good as it gets to build a team in college swimming

1 month ago


Daddy Foster
1 month ago

He’s been the primary coach for Sydney Pickrem, no?

Reply to  Daddy Foster
1 month ago

Not sure if they differentiate a primary, but yes, she’s been trianing with him (and Jay and Michael Walker).

1 month ago

Huge hire for South Carolina. He should have never been pushed out of A&M. Great coach even better person. South Carolina bout to make a jump.

Douglass Wharrram Fan Club
1 month ago

Not the greatest Bolles photo out there, but Sergio’s there in spirit

1 month ago

Jeah in shambles right now

Reply to  Shaddy419
1 month ago

Fo real

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

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