Four-time Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) Coach of the Year, head swimming and diving coach Neal Studd enters his eighth season at the helm of the program at FGCU.
During the 2012-2013 season Studd led the Eagles to wins over Atlantic Coast Conference teams Miami and Georgia Tech, their fifth-straight CCSA title and the program’s second trip to the NCAA Division-I National Championships. Continuing to dominate the CCSA, FGCU posted a perfect conference record during the regular season before going on to win 12 of a possible 19 events at the championship meet. The Eagles set multiple conference records while Emma Svensson was named Most Outstanding Swimmer and Maegan Butler Most Outstanding Diver. In March Studd traveled with Svensson to the 2013 NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championship marking Svensson second representation of FGCU at the meet. Svensson placed 31st in the 50-yard freestyle, 50th in the 100-yard backstroke and was the meets Elite 89 award recipient, an honor given to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships. In the summer of 2013 Studd served as head of the Barbados National Team at the World Swimming Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
Studd represented FGCU in the 2012 Olympic Games by coaching former Eagle Danielle Beaubrun and St. Lucia. The Olympics marked Studd's second stint as head coach of St. Lucia after serving at the World Championships in Shanghai, China in 2011.
In 2012 the Eagles earned their fourth straight CCSA title by more than 300 points. FGCU picked up 10 gold medals, 9 silvers and eight bronzes, while winning three out of the five possible relay events over the three-day championship. Maegan Butler was honored as the Most Outstanding Diver of the Meet, placing first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dive with scores of 258.70 and 302.00, respectively. Freshman Emma Svensson took home the Most Outstanding Female Freshman Performer of the Meet, placing second in the 50-yard freestyle and earning an NCAA “B” cut with a time of 22.87, as well as placing first in the 100 back and earning “B” cut time of 54.20. She also earned a “B” cut in the 100-yard free that placed her second in the event with a time of 49.33. Second-year diving coach Andy Goe was honored as Diving Coach of the Year.
Studd’s squad continued to excel in the classroom backed up their work in the pool with their work in the classroom in 2011-12, evident by its Team Scholar All-America award from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA).
As the FGCU swimming and diving team won its third straight CCSA Championship, Studd picked up the CCSA Women’s Coach of the Year for the third time in as many years. The Blue and Green earned 13 gold medals, 11 silvers and five bronze, while winning three out of the five possible relay events. The squad set eight varsity records during the season under Studd’s watch and 13 athletes earned All-Conference status. The Eagles ran away with the conference title by 294.5 points en route to Jessie Porter being named the Co-Women’s Most Outstanding Freshman Performer of the Meet and senior Karmin McNamara earning Most Outstanding Diver of the Meet for the third year and Diver of the Year. First-year diving coach Andy Goe was honored as Diving Coach of the Year. Studd watched as the Eagles earned national recognition garnering votes in the 2010-11 College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) / TYR Top 25 Poll, finishing in 32nd overall. Twenty-six student-athletes were named CCSA All-Academic honorees, while the team earned CSCAA Scholar All-American status for the fourth time after posting a team grade-point average (GPA) of 3.29.
Studd led the FGCU swimming and diving team to its second consecutive CCSA Championship in 2010 and earned CCSA Co-Coach of the Year. The Eagles finished 194.5 points ahead of second place Davidson last season to take home the title. Under his guidance, 15 athletes earned All-Conference accolades including seven gold medals while 22 earned All-Conference Academic team honors. McNamara earned Most Outstanding Diver after finishing first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter events. Once again, the team was recognized as a Scholar All-American Team by the CSCAA for the third year after posting a combined GPA of 3.35.
In 2009, Studd's squad combined for 21 new varsity records and 12 new freshmen records. They also brought home every possible piece of hardware from the CCSA Conference meet. The Eagles ran away with the CCSA team title by over 200 points and Studd was honored as Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year. The Eagles also produced the Rookie Swimmer of the year as well as the Conference swimmer and Conference Diver of the year. Studd's guidance led to 13 CCSA All-conference first team members and 16 CCSA All-Academic team members. The squad was recognized as a Scholar All-American Team by the CSCAA for the second consecutive year.
Studd’s first head coaching season was highlighted with a second place finish at the CCSA conference championship where his team was first amongst all Atlantic Sun squads. Along with earning more gold medals than any other school (seven), the Eagles produced the Rookie of the year and the Conference Swimmer of the Year. His guidance led to nine CCSA All-Conference first team members and 11 CCSA All-Academic team members. The squad concluded the year ranked 18th in the Collegeswimming.com NCAA Division I mid-major poll and was recognized as an Scholar All-American Team by the CSCAA.
Studd was selected to begin the women’s swimming and diving program at FGCU in July of 2006. Prior to joining the athletic department here, he spent eight seasons with the FAU swimming staff. He rejoined the team in the fall of 1999 after a successful one-year stint with the Wall Street firm of Morgan Stanley following an outstanding collegiate swimming career at FAU.
While he enjoyed the business world, he elected to return to college, where he could work on a master's degree in business. Upon his return to the swimming world, Studd began working with the sprinters, a group that has rewritten the FAU record books as well as many of the records that Studd previously held. Under his watch, several sprinters have won National Independent Conference (NIC) and Sun Belt Championship titles, achieved NCAA cuts and placed on national teams, including one athlete who competed in the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials and one who qualified for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. In 2004, the women's freestyle relays rewrote the NIC conference records, while a freshman qualified for the NCAA Championship in the breaststroke. In 2005, the men's 200 medley relay posted a school and Sun Belt Conference record. A sprinter also competed in the 2005 World University Games.
As an FAU swimmer (1994-98), Studd held several varsity records, served as the men's captain and was a NIC champion and two-time Olympic Trials qualifier. The Ipswich, United Kingdom native commenced swimming at an early age and held no less than 12 county (state) records. He was the National Junior Champion and the captain of the National Junior Team. Studd was also the 200-meter freestyle National Junior Championship record holder.
Studd is a 1998 graduate of FAU with a B.S. in Finance, and received his MBA from FAU in 2002. Studd and his wife Leah have two children together, daughter Sophia (2) and son Henry, born November 2013.