Veteran Jonty Skinner Expected to be Named New Indiana Sprint Coach

On the heels of former Indiana University associate sprint head coach Coley Stickels‘ move to replace Dennis Pursley as the head coach at the University of Alabama, Pursley’s senior associate head coach Jonty Skinner will head to Indiana as a sprint coach, multiple sources tell SwimSwam.

Skinner, 65, is a decorated veteran of the sport with ample head coaching experience of his own. His current stint at Alabama is his third; Skinner joined the program as an assistant coach after graduating in 1977, returned as associate head coach and then head coach in the late ’80s, and held his most recent position since the summer of 2012.

After his first stint with the Tide, Skinner coached the San Jose Aquatics Club to a USA Senior National team championship and five USA Junior National team titles. Under Purley’s watch as director of the USA National team in 1994, Skinner was chosen as Skinner as the inaugural coach of USA Swimming’s Resident National Team, then spent the next eight years as USA Swimming’s director of performance science and technology. From 2009-2012, he worked in a similar capacity for British Swimming.

As a swimmer, the South Africa-native Skinner held the 100 free world record from 1976-1981 and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1985.

Skinner’s appointment is huge for Indiana, as the program lost three of its assistants this offseason, leaving just head coach Ray Looze, associate head coach Mike Westphal, and diving coach Drew Johansen returning from last year’s staff. Assistant sprint coach Kirk Grand was the first to go, moving to Colorado. Stickels then took the job at Alabama, and Caitlin Hamilton was announced as the new head coach at Illinois State Monday.

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Mikeh
2 years ago

Skinners 49.4 world record was a remarkable swim. He would have won the 1976 gold had South Africa not been excluded.

Fly 100
Reply to  Mikeh
2 years ago

Ironically, he will be at IU, the school of ’76 gold medalist Jim Montgomery.

coacherik
Reply to  Mikeh
2 years ago

We also must not forget, Al Bundy scoring four touchdowns in a single game while playing for the Polk High School Panthers in the 1966 city championship game versus Andrew Johnson High School, including the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds against his old nemesis, “Spare Tire” Dixon.

13 % Chinese person
Reply to  coacherik
2 years ago

Al married up .

Don Megerle
Reply to  coacherik
2 years ago

Was he fat? No, he wore a spare tire on a chain around his neck.

Really
2 years ago

Hydro freestyle visits Bloomington….

Superfan
2 years ago

Who got the better coach? Iu or al?

Gorb
Reply to  Superfan
2 years ago

AL. Not even close.

No Gorb
Reply to  Gorb
2 years ago

Skinner has had a successful career where has has MADE several Olympic and world medalists. Skinner has a program that has proven it a great developmental program that gets swimmers better. Contrary to Coley who has had some success in making swimmers. Coley’s biggest claim to fame is he has coached that swimmer and then that swimmer… did they improve though?

Rsquad
Reply to  No Gorb
2 years ago

Seriously? Can you find a swimmer he has coached that has NOT gotten faster? I’ll wait

Gorb
Reply to  No Gorb
2 years ago

Coley- off the top pf my head- Santo, Abbey, Roland, Margo, Amanda Kendall, Stanzi Moseley, Nikol Popov, Keaton Blovad and slew of IU swimmers that are ncaa champions. His swimmers are always successful everywhere he has been.
Jonty- Robert Howard, Zane? and…? Who did he make? No women. Where are all of these international swimmers you claim?

Alec
Reply to  Gorb
2 years ago

If those are the people you can name, you must be new around here. Jonty has had Olympians, men and women, in every decade since the 80s. Including a bunch when he was resident team coach.

He had 18 and under Olympians and NAG record holders as a club coach as well.

No Gorb
Reply to  Gorb
2 years ago

Many of those swimmers Coley coached for 1 year or less. That must be some exceptional making! Let me get a piece of that pie.

Gorb
Reply to  No Gorb
2 years ago

Name one swimmer on the aforementioned list that he coached for one year or less? Im also waiting for Jonty’s many international successes.

WHKirch
Reply to  Gorb
2 years ago

Kristian Gkolomeev immediately comes to mind.

Billyq
Reply to  No Gorb
2 years ago

Actually, he coached the majority of that list for years-including Abbey and Santo. Kendall was with him for several years and his club swimmers were even more. I don’t know who he coached at IU, but the results there are on par with what he did everywhere else.

NDB
Reply to  Superfan
2 years ago

I think its tough to compare which coach is better but Jonty has certainly coached more internationally elite athletes through his career. Both have worked with greats though. Replacing a high profile assistant with another high profile assistant shows you just how well the IU program is doing.

Oldskool
Reply to  NDB
2 years ago

Where does ‘students transferring out’ come to play? They got hit with 5-10 transfers over the last 2 seasons. Is that good or no? Just wondering.

Mustafa
2 years ago

Cory Chitwood joining the staff at IU as well.

Thomas Ferrell
Reply to  Mustafa
2 years ago

Gross

Country Oldtimer
2 years ago

Ray Loose hit a Home Run with the Jonty Skinner hire. Indiana looses a lot of assistants because Ray hires the best and gives them the freedom to actually coach. Their new staff is going to be awesome.

Superfan
Reply to  Country Oldtimer
2 years ago

Who did Kirk Grand and Caitlin Hamilton have the freedom to actually coach?

Stan, not Dan
Reply to  Country Oldtimer
2 years ago

Ray is an awful person to coach for. Did anyone else see him grab Coley by the arm and pull him aside at NCAA’s?? Just ask any of the IU swimmers how Ray makes it impossible for the coaches around him

Vader
Reply to  Country Oldtimer
2 years ago

Oh boy, oldtimer…. you sure do seem to be from the old times. It’s illogical to think that with the number of coaching changes that have taken place in the past 5 years at IU, that Indiana “looses” them for all of the right reasons. Maybe go ask one, or five, of them next time. Would love to hear you report back!

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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