ALABAMA SWIMMING AND DIVING COACH RETIRES

Swimming

Alabama’s head swimming and diving coach Dennis Pursley announced his retirement from coaching on Wednesday; he served as the Crimson Tides head coach for seven years.

“We can’t begin to thank Coach Pursley enough for all he has done to advance our program in his seven years as head coach,” Alabama director of athletics Greg Byrne said in a press release. “Alabama swimming and diving has excelled under his leadership both in competition and in the classroom.”

The Crimson Tide men have placed in the top-10 at the NCAA championships four times, finishing seventh at the 2019 meet, while the women have placed at the last six-straight national championships. Individual swimmers have won two NCAA individual titles, two NCAA relay titles, two Southeastern Conference Swimmer of the Year honors, a trio of SEC Championship Swimmers of the Meet, and 12 SEC individual titles and six SEC relay titles.

Throughout his years of coaching, he has held positions in England, Canada, Australia, and the United States. He was the head coach of the 2012 Great Britain Olympic Team and British Swimming from 2008-12. He also held the position of national team director for USA Swimming and assistant coach of the 1980 US Olympic Team. His responsibilities focused on all aspects of the Team USA program. He helped the United State’s medal count rise to extraordinary heights.

The United States finished first in the medal count in both men’s and women’s competitions in all three Olympiads of his tenure, recording 33 medals, including 14 gold, at the 2000 Olympics which was described by “Sports Illustrated” as the greatest team performance of all time. He earned the United States Olympic Committee Chairman’s “Coaching Award” for 2000.

As his Hall of Fame career ends after 47 years, Pursley will remain with the Crimson Tide until a new coach is hired.

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