SwimSwam Podcast: Jeff Poppell on Building a Team From the Ground Up

On the SwimSwam Podcast dive deeper into the sport you love with insider conversations about swimming. Hosted by Coleman Hodges and Gold Medal Mel Stewart, SwimSwam welcomes both the biggest names in swimming that you already know, and rising stars that you need to get to know, as we break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

We sat down with University of Florida head women’s coach Jeff Poppell. Jeff’s been in the coaching game for a long time, starting at Bolles School under Gregg Troy (club), then as the head coach for the University of Arkansas (college), then at Gulliver Prep in Miami (club), and finally at the University of Florida. At the last 3 of these stops, Poppell was integral in building a program from the ground up and he shares what lessons he learned along the way.

Music: Otis McDonald


Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

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Swimming Eh
27 days ago

Classic SEC! I love how he’s “building a team from the ground up” at Florida. How’d that go at Arkansas? When you really had to start at the ground.

Coleman Hodges
Reply to  Swimming Eh
27 days ago

Well he does explain how it went at Arkansas. And to be fair, his first season at Florida the women were 7th at SECs and didn’t score at NCAAs for the first time in history

Reply to  Swimming Eh
27 days ago

Yeah, wasn’t this a team that won a *National Title* in the last decade?

Reply to  swimgeek
27 days ago

They did, but Gregg Troy had trashed the women’s program so bad and word got out among club coaches not to send your girls there, or even most guys. So although Poppell has the facilities, support and resources at Florida (more so than Arkansas), it was job of practically building a program ground up, considering the condition Troy left it in.

Swimming Eh
Reply to  Guerra
26 days ago

I’m not saying he’s a poor coach or that he’s hasn’t done a good job. I’m saying that the Florida brand, location, and resources is not a total rebuild. It’s not even close. Pitt, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Washington State, Georgia Tech, and Nebraska are places that are rebuilds.

Fly 100
27 days ago

Nesty ! What training sets did he give those guys to swim that 500 record and 1650 record respectively ? Can someone find out ? Thank you !

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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