South Carolina Hires Pam Swander as New Assistant Coach

The University of South Carolina has hired Pam Swander as a new assistant coach for its men’s and women’s swim teams. She fills the hole on the South Carolina staff that was left vacant by the departure of associate head coach Mark Bernardino for NC State, though Swander hasn’t been given the same “associate head coach” title.

Swander’s son, Kevin, is also on the South Carolina staff, and will be entering his 7th season as an assistant next year.

Pam Swander will be the 2nd female assistant on South Carolina’s staff under head coach McGee Moody, joining a group that includes Erin Mullins and head diving coach Todd Sherritt.

“I am extremely excited that Coach Moody has given me the opportunity to join his staff at USC,” Pam Swander said. “I am honored to be a part of the future of the South Carolina swimming and diiving program.”

The move won’t be a far one for Pam Swander: she’s spent the last two years as the head coach of the USA Swimming club the South Carolina Swim Club in Mt. Pleasant. The team finished 2nd in combined team scoring at last summer’s South Carolina LSC Long COurse State Championships with 1474.5 points, just 45.5 points behind the champions from Y-Spartaquatics.

She has previous stops as an assistant at another South Carolina university, Clemson, where she was an assistant from 2004-2005 before they cut their program. She also spent 5 seasons as an assistant at Indiana.

She then spent 6 years with USA Swimming gold medal club SwimMAC Carolina, where she was a Regional Manager from 2010-2016 under the tenure of CEO David Marsh (who was the head U.S. Olympic women’s coach at the 2016 games in Rio).

Swander has held a number of significant administrative positions within USA Swimming’s umbrella as well: including Director of USA Swimming’s Select Camp, Vice Chair of Hospitality on the U.S. Olympic Trials Committee, and serving as the Indiana Swimming delegate to the USA Swimming National Convention.

South Carolina’s men finished 7th out of 10 teams, and the women placed 8th out of 12 at last year’s SEC Championship meet. Among the highlights was a 3rd-straight SEC title from then-senior Akram Mahmoud in the men’s 1650 free, making him the first SC swimmer to win 3-straight conference titles. Mahmoud trained primarily under Bernardino in the South Carolina distance group.



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Great hire! Congrats Pam!


This program is over


Oh high and mighty swimswam commenter, please grant me enlightenment and show me the way to predict future happenings in the swim world


I wish her and the University of South Carolina Swim program the best of luck. Her tenure as head coach of SCSC was troubled and she left the team in shambles with swimmers leaving and pool owners pulling access. The worst thing is that many good swimmers decided to leave the sport thanks to her wonderful demeanor. To those swimmers at USC who may not be accustomed to a person such as this, I am truly sorry for what you will have to endure.


And if there’s one thing in this world we can trust, it’s an anonymous post from a disgruntled swim parent. She’s a great coach who will do an excellent job at USC.


Curious if you’ve ever swam under her or had your kid swim with her? You’d be singing a different tune if so. Find a swimmer who has been coached by her directly in the last five years who will say anything positive about her. Only positive comments on here are from fellow coaches. She can talk all day about swimming, coaching, team development, swimmer development but she can’t practice any of what she preaches. She should quit coaching and go into sales – her ability to sell herself is the only thing she has going for her. Once the real Pam comes out, you realize quickly that you’ve just gotten sold a rotten bill of goods!


I have been coached by her and did fantastic with her. She is a great coach and if you buy into what she says you will get better. She is one of the best coaches I have ever had. But keep making assumptions about her because your kid didn’t swim well.


It’s too bad SC swimming will never live up to the standards of NC swimming.


As a swimmer from the Charleston area who went on to college before the merger, I was perpetually underwhelmed with SCSC whenever I went back to visit and train. Good luck to whoever takes over; I would love to see a Charleston team actually getting the most out of the wonderful and deep swimming talent that exists in the tri-county area.

SwimMAC Swammer

I swam for Pam at SwimMAC for 3 years. She turned me from an average Senior 2 level athlete to a Junior National Finalist. More important than that, she made me more versatile, gave me control to coach myself as best I knew, and helped me become a better and more responsible person. Those who have negative opinions on her based on her performance in Charleston, let me ask you this- when has any single person succeeded coaching in you area? Overbearing parents and underwhelming performance define your LSC. Pam didn’t fail anyone in Charleston, she walked into an impossible situation. Good luck to Pam at USC, that staff is outstanding now. Spurs up!


Dave Horton… him


Must be normal to post seven times on the same thread? Not sure how many other alias’e you have on this thread but it’s time to put down the axe and let go of all your anger and venom?


Or Liz Campbell to go back in time a bit, took a team that had never had a jr. nat qualifier and was in the shadow of SMRT for years, and developed over a dozen future D1 swimmers in less than a decade.

Overbearing parents are notunique to SC, that’s hardly an excuse for poor performance. Coaches have had plenty of success here, Pam was simply not one of them.

Go Lords

There have been plenty of successes from our area before she came here. Class of 2016 had 6 guys alone swimming in college, 5 of them at the division 1 level, almost all competing at the junior national level. 2014 (or maybe 2013, I can’t remember exactly) had Two Olympic Trials qualifiers, and a D-1 all American. Saying she walked into an impossible situation is blatantly incorrect. A tough one, absolutely, the merger of our two teams surely wasn’t an easy transition. But plain and simple many of the swimmers in her group have either plateaud, lost interest in swimming, or are obviously burnt out after joining her group. She’s very nice and means well, but it just didn’t seem… Read more »


Are you sure that was her wonderful coaching or was it the “extreme” training?

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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