Texas Women Continue to Rise Under Capitani (Video Report)

The Texas women’s swimming and diving programs have seen a steady rise since the arrival of head coach Carol Capitani in 2012. The program has continued to improve on NCAA placings, with the exception of 2016 when the program finished 15th. But everyone has trips, as explained below:

In an NCAA landscape that is so dominated by west coast power houses Stanford and Cal, plus throw Capitani’s former residence of Georgia in the mix, and it’s seemingly almost impossible to break into that top tier of NCAA finishers. Yet Capitani has managed to bring the championship mindset with her from Athens and instill it in her Longhorn company.

Since the 2016-2017 season, the team has comprised 100% of girls that Capitani recruited; in a sense, it’s truly “her team” now. That can be seen in her demeanor with the women as well as the women’s demeanor in practice. They are now all fighting for a common goal, a common hope. Whether they make it their or not, they have the belief. And they’re enjoying the journey there.

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Very interesting write up. I would like to see the improvement rates of the team. Seems like a few girls do really well but then a lot of girls don’t really improve from high school.


Interesting observation. Being from the East Coast, I only watch Texas at NCAA and they were very impressive last year.


Yes. So rates of improvement are a great way to judge a swimming program. For example I bet if every girl at Stanford swam the same times they went as a high schooler they would still win NCAAs. Just because they won doesn’t mean its a great program – no one got faster! Of course this isn’t true of the Stanford program, the girls continue improve and impress (just trying to convey the idea)


Valid point about swimmers improving as one measure of success for a swim team. Has anyone ever did a complete analysis of the top teams’ (top 10) swimmers (full squad) and compare their best high school times to their college times? This would be interesting to see, instead of speculating which coaches are “effective” at improving their swimmers. It’s easy to focus on top swimmers who get the spotlight but how about the full roster? I’m guessing Stanford’s full squad did not all improve from high school. Just my observation.

The Grand inquisitor

Rates of improvement are a reasonable way to judge a program, but even this can be quite flawed. It’s not meaningful to compare the improvement rate of someone who’s already by far the fastest in history to someone that’s never been in the top 250. A more valid comparison would be to take a larger cohort of comparable swimmers (say women swimmers that swam 49.0-50.5 in the 100 Free when they were 17 yrs old – there about 60 a year which fall into this category) and then see how much they were able to improve in different collegiate programs.


Ledecky definitely did not get faster this summer

The Grand inquisitor

Your statement is both true and meaningless.
Has any other woman ever improved over personal bests of 3:56 and 8:04?


Incorrect. If a team wins NCAA’s they are a great team. Recruiting in college athletics is actually more important than improvement. And placing at NCAA is the only measure that matters.


I agree. It’s hard to tell because the girls who do perform well and improve (Claire Adams, Lauren Case, Remedy Rule) tend to overshadow the ones who don’t (Nora McCullagh, Quinn Carrozza, Kaitlyn Harty).


it’s quite easy to see people not get faster and blame it on the coaching, but in some cases it does not reflect on the program or the coaches-but rather the swimmer.
For the record however, both Quinn Carrozza and Nora McCullogh have gone best times under Capitani. And Kaitlin Harty has always struggled with health, but should be back full force this year. Swimming isn’t always just about the times and it’s not just about one season.

Swim Fan

Capitani is a great coach! She is on an upward trajectory! Go Longhorns!


Agreed. Much better than the prior coach who killed the girls passion for swimming.


When are y’all going to show some love to Texas A&M???


Seriously an incredible and underrated team, I didn’t even remember they got third till swimswam did the preseason rankings and they brought in a really good class

BJ Bedford

Probably not on the thread about UT.

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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