After 40 seasons at the held of the University of California – Santa Barbara Gaucho swimming & diving program, head coach Gregg Wilson will coach his final home meet this Saturday.
Wilson announced at the beginning of this season that 2015-2016 would be his last year as head coach at UCSB, marking 40 seasons with the school.
Wilson took over the men’s swimming & diving team in 1975, and became the head of the women’s program 10 years later in 1985. His men’s program went on a run of 23 straight Big West Conference titles beginning in 1979, and he eventually won 36 conference championships in all between his men’s and women’s teams.
Among the biggest names he coached were Olympians Jason Lezak and Richard Schroeder, each of whom won gold medals – Lezak won four total while swimming in the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, and Schroeder won two golds between the 1984 and 1988 Olympics Games.
The final home meet for Wilson will be this Saturday’s matchup with Cal Poly. From there, UCSB will move on to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Championships in February and the NCAA Championships in March.
“Gregg has been such a big part of UCSB athletics and touched the lives of so many student-athletes and fellow coaches over the years we marvel at all of his accomplishments,” UCSB Athletic Director John McCutcheon said in the team’s press release announcing Wilson’s retirement last fall. “As we enjoy his final season our goal is to recognize his incredible contributions to the campus and the sport of swimming appropriately.”
“How lucky I have been,” said Wilson in the same release. “We have a world class university, in a world class location and I’ve coached world class student-athletes. At times the 40 years seemed so long, but in retrospect it seems so short.”
Stay tuned to SwimSwam.com for full coverage of this weekend’s UCSB-Cal Poly dual and the rest of the weekend’s NCAA action.