The Virginia Gators of Roanoke, Virginia, have announced that they have hired Ned Skinner as the new head coach. Skinner succeeds team founder and longtime head coach Doug Fonder at the helm of the program.
Skinner comes to the Gators after two years as the head coach of Hollins University, a women’s only Division 3 program, but is primarily known for leading the Virginia Tech Hokies for 20 years. Most notably, the Hokies men’s team won the ACC championship in 2014, ending a University of Virginia streak that began in 1999 and up to that point was only interrupted by a now-vacated Florida State title in 2007.
The Gators have been one of the top club teams in the nation over the last few year, producing top-ranked swimmers like Noah Bowers, Olivia Bray, Khali Fonder, Caroline Kulp, Keith Myburgh, Emma Muzzy, and Greg Reed, just to name a few. Former head coach Doug Fonder started the Gators in 1988, and since then the team has had success at multiple levels of the sport, sending swimmers to Olympic Trials and producing swimmers who’ve made an impact at the college level. Fonder currently serves as the President and CEO of the International Swim Coaches Association.
Skinner competed for the LSU Tigers collegiately, helping the team to a SEC title in 1988. After finishing his competitive career, he served as a graduate assistant at Ohio University before leading programs at Central Connecticut State, William & Mary, Virginia Tech, and then Hollins.
Hollins University announced last week that Aaron Green has been hired to take over for Skinner.
Press release from Virginia Gators
Roanoke, VA. Ned Skinner will become the head coach of the Roanoke-based Virginia Gators swim team starting April 2021. Skinner comes to the Gators after a 2-year stint as the head swim coach at Hollins University.
“I am very excited to accept the opportunity with the Gators and lead this outstanding program moving forward. I have known this team for many years and have coached multiple outstanding swimmers from the Gators. Doug Fonder established a high standard of excellence and I look forward to building upon his achievements with the club.”
Skinner was the head coach at Virginia Tech for 20 years and coached the teams to 4 conference titles including the 2014 men’s ACC Championship. He coached over 100 All-American performances at the school as well as over 50 conference champions. In addition, Skinner (who earned his Ph. D at VT), was named a USA Swimming National Team Coach after Robert Owen placed 6th at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials in 2016. Coach Skinner is the co-founder of 2 different club swim teams and has remained active in youth swimming through coaching high school swimming and running camps and clinics.
Prior to Virginia Tech, Dr. Skinner was the Director of Swimming at The College of William & Mary. He coached the men’s and women’s teams for four seasons and guided the program to multiple school records, conference champions, and improved conference finishes. Skinner started his head coaching career at Central Connecticut State University where he served in that role for four seasons.
Skinner and his wife Allison, an attorney for the US Government, have two children and live in Blacksburg.