University of Georgia Names Michael Norment New Associate Head Men’s Coach

Michael Norment will return to his alma mater next season, as the University of Georgia announced Tuesday that the former Bulldog has been named the program’s new associate head men’s swim and dive coach.

Norment joins UGA after a five-year stint as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech, including spending the 2018-19 season coaching alongside Neil Versfeld, who took over as the head coach of the men’s team at Georgia last summer following Jack Bauerle‘s retirement.

“I am honored to join the coaching staff at the University of Georgia and return home to Athens,” Norment said. “This institution is very important to me, and I am excited for the opportunity to mentor and guide the next generation of Bulldogs.

“My family and I are grateful for Neil’s confidence in me, and I cannot wait to begin helping this program achieve even greater heights. I also want to thank Courtney Shealy Hart for giving me the chance to coach at Georgia Tech. Without her, I would not have been able to return home to Georgia.”

Sources indicate that Norment will be taking over the position previously held by Brian Smith, who spent the past 16 seasons at Georgia including the last 10 as an associate head coach.

In addition to transitioning from Bauerle to Versfeld as head coach, the Georgia men’s team also lost their top two scorers from the 2022 NCAA Championships this past season, as Matt Sates turned pro and Luca Urlando went down with injury. As a result, the team fell from eighth place in 2022 down to 12th this past season, seeing their point total cut in half.

During his time at Georgia Tech, Norment helped guide the Yellow Jackets to plenty of success, including producing six individual ACC event titles, highlighted by Brazilian Caio Pumputis winning three of them en route to earning Co-MVP honors at the 2019 ACC Championships.

The Georgia Tech men have also scored at each of the last four NCAA Championships under Norment, something the team failed to do in the two seasons before he was hired.

“I am excited to welcome Michael Norment back home to Georgia,” said Versfeld, who is also a UGA alum that got his NCAA coaching start at Georgia Tech. “He is an amazing coach and incredible person that shares the same vision I have for our program. We are both deeply committed to helping these young men reach their full potential as we continue to strive for excellence.”

Norment has notably been the main coach for top U.S. breaststroker Nic Fink for the last two years, with Fink having joined Georgia Tech following the Tokyo Olympics in the fall of 2021 to pursue his Master’s degree.

Since that transition, Fink has been on fire, winning a combined 16 World Championship medals between long course and short course, including individual world titles in the LC 50 breast (2022) and SCM titles in the 50 breast (2021, 2022), 100 breast (2022) and 200 breast (2021).

Norment also coached Pumputis to an Olympic berth at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Norment is also the founder of the Metro Atlanta Aquatic Club (MAAC) and co-founder of the Swim with a Purpose Swim School. Prior to founding MAAC, he served as a coach at DeKalb Aquatics for eight years. While at MAAC, Norment coached future NCAA champion and World University Games gold medalist Dean Farris, who won two NCSA Junior National championships along with a pair of Georgia high school state titles as well.

A native of Hempstead, N.Y., Norment was a 16-time All-American during his collegiate career at Georgia, helping the Bulldogs finish third at the 1997 NCAA Championships, the highest finish in team history. He also won the 1994 SEC title in the 100 breast as a freshman (followed by three consecutive runner-up finishes), and also was twice named to the USA Swimming National Team and represented the U.S. twice at the Pan Pacific Championships.

Following his collegiate career, Norment graduated from the University of Georgia in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in education. Norment and his wife, Nay, have two children: daughter, Assata Rose, and son, Mozi.

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Swimmin in the South
4 months ago

Another well played transition by the dogs. Once again they show how to do it, minimizing the negative and amplifying the positive. They get all their ducks in a row, then make all the announcements at the same time. Done. Moving on. Margo, please take note.

Lap Counter
Reply to  Swimmin in the South
4 months ago

Their press release made no mention of Brian Smith or his 16 years of excellent work!? So not sure why you think they handled it with class?

Swimmin in the South
Reply to  Lap Counter
4 months ago

I’m not saying it’s classy. Just that they seem to know how to avoid collateral damage more so than others.

first time long time
4 months ago

So happy for coach Mike. His positive influence goes beyond the pool. Any athlete should consider themselves most fortunate to be under his tutelage. Huge Congratulations from up North.

PDR Alum
4 months ago

Congrats Mike. Great hire by UGA.

Franz Resseguie
4 months ago

Congratulations Michael!

4 months ago

Did he teach Pumputis to dolphin kick during his BR races?

Reply to  Binky
4 months ago

*flutter kick

Lap Counter
Reply to  Binky
4 months ago

Did he actually coach Pumputis at his prime?

4 months ago

This is huge for UGA and a big time congrats to Coach Norment.

ScottyJ 2.0, LLC
4 months ago

Absolutely great choice. Congrats Mike!

NW Coach
4 months ago

Great coach better person! Congrats to Michael and UGA great hire!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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