FORT MYERS, Fla. - Florida Gulf Coast University Director of Athletics Carl McAloose announced Friday that Neal Studd has been selected as the first-ever head coach of the women's swimming and diving program.
"We are very excited to welcome Coach Studd to the FGCU athletics program and have him lead our new women's swimming and diving program," said McAloose. "He has earned a great deal of respect in the state of Florida and in the college swimming community in general as an outstanding coach and a top-notch recruiter. We think his outstanding record as an assistant and his strong ties to swimming programs throughout the state made him the ideal person to start our program."
"I am extremely excited to be given this opportunity by Carl McAloose and his staff at FGCU," said Studd. "When I met the department and looked at the campus and its facilities I knew I had the chance to be a part of something special. FAU has been great to me and I am leaving some great coaches and athletes that I will sorely miss. It was always going to take something special to get me to leave FAU and at FGCU I found it. I look forward to working with club coaches and the local community to build a Division I swimming team that Southwest Florida can be proud of."
Studd joins FGCU after an eight-year stint at Florida Atlantic University as the associate head coach and head recruiter under Steve Eckelkamp for both the men's and women's programs. The Owls captured the 2006 Sun Belt Conference Women's Team Championship, the first conference title for FAU in any sport. Both teams have established new FAU records during the past eight years.
He has coached one Olympic qualifier, and two NCAA Championship qualifiers, as well as numerous NCAA consideration finalists and national team members with the Owls' women. He has also coached two male athletes who qualified for the past two USA Olympic Trials and placed numerous other athletes on national teams.
In addition to his collegiate coaching duties, he has operated the Aquatics Center on the Florida Atlantic campus and served as the head coach of the renowned Elite Technique Swim Camps in South Florida. He has also served as a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in Boca Raton.
Before starting his coaching career, Studd was the FAU swimming team captain and varsity record holder in several events and was an NIC conference champion. He was also the team captain and a junior champion for England's national junior swim team.
FGCU will compete in its inaugural season in 2007-08.