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?
- Coley Stickels to Alabama (men & women) – 57.4%
- Mark Gangloff to UNC (men & women) – 24.2%
- Dan Schemmel to Stanford (men) – 18.4%
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 Schemmel. Schemmel 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 Poll, which 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:
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The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner