SwimSwam Pulse: 57% Pick Stickels As Best NCAA Coaching Decision

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers


Question: Which NCAA coaching hire was the best decision?

More than half of voters preferred the hiring of Coley Stickels for the Alabama head coaching role, compared to Mark Gangloff to UNC (24.2%) and Dan Schemmel to Stanford (18.4%).

Stickels was certainly the hire from the most successful 2018-2019 program. The sprint coach at Indiana helped the men finish 3rd and the women 9th at 2019 NCAAs. Stickels is a good fit for an Alabama program that has been a sprint factory of late. On the other hand, some criticized the hire because Alabama already had a regarded sprint coach (Jonty Skinner) on staff, and it was possible Skinner could take over as head coach at Alabama, or remain in charge of the sprints if the program hired a more distance-oriented head coach. Skinner ultimately took Stickels’ old role as a sprint coach with Indiana.

The Olympian Gangloff has more name recognition as a swimmer than a coach, but has been an associate head coach with Missouri and has helped that program explode over his seven seasons there. Gangloff was a breaststroker, and so it’s only natural to guess he had at least some impact on Mizzou’s pretty consistently successful breaststroke group that included the team’s first-ever NCAA champion Fabian Schwingenschlogl in 2016. About a quarter of voters picked Gangloff’s hire as the NCAA’s best – he’ll have his work cut out for him with several top UNC swimmers transferring out and the ACC continuing to get faster and deeper.

Meanwhile Stanford’s men’s program was the premiere coaching opening in the nation this offseason. While a number of power-5 head coaches were rumored to be interested and interviewing, Stanford ultimately went with a younger and lesser-known coach – Hawaii’s Dan SchemmelSchemmel has a smaller track record at the NCAA level than the other two coaches, but does come from a head coaching position, rather than an assistant role. Stanford had a run of tough luck late this season with several key members of their men’s team missing NCAAs. But a reloaded roster sets up Schemmel to lead a big bounce-back in his first season.


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters if Kyle Chalmers will better his great early-season 47.48 in the 100 free at this week’s Australian World Championships Trials:

Will Kyle Chalmers beat his season-best 47.48 in the 100 free at Australian Trials?

View Results

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A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner

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4 years ago

#throwback to when this first happened now when kids commit to Indiana people are like “well congrats on your commitment to the Bama class of 25” but also remember when that alabama swimmer quit and they blamed it on coley

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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