By USA Swimming | Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Each week in the lead up to the Nov. 19 Golden Goggle Awards, USA Swimming will highlight one of the eight award categories.
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COACH OF THE YEAR
This award is given to the coach whose athlete(s) performed at the highest level throughout the year, with special emphasis on the 2017 FINA World Championships.
Longtime University of Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle mentored seven swimmers to a place on the Team USA roster at the 2017 FINA World Championships – Pace Clark, Hali Flickinger, Nic Fink, Chase Kalisz, Jay Litherland, Melanie Margalis and Olivia Smoliga. This group collected seven total medals led by a gold-medal sweep of the 200m and 400m individual medley events by Chase Kalisz. At the 2017 NCAA Championships, Bauerle coached the Georgia women to a fourth-place finish and the men to an eighth-place showing. He was a men’s assistant coach for the United States at the FINA World Championships.
Ray Looze coached four swimmers to spots on the U.S. roster at the FINA World Championships and all earned a spot on the podium. Lilly King led the way with four gold medals, as well as world-record performances in the 50m and 100m breaststroke events. Blake Pieroni, Zane Grothe and Cody Miller combined to earn five relay medals in Budapest. A women’s assistant coach for the FINA World Championships, Looze was named the 2017 ASCA Coach of the Year. He also led Indiana to top-eight finishes at the men’s and women’s NCAA Championships in 2017.
The Team USA women’s head coach for the FINA World Championships, Greg Meehan guided his Stanford swimmers to 14 medals – 12 of them gold – in Budapest. Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel each won six medals to lead all female competitors at the meet. Individually, Ledecky won her third straight world titles in the 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle, while Manuel won gold in the 100m free and bronze in 50m free and set American records in both events. Lia Neal added a pair of relay gold medals. On the collegiate front, Meehan’s Cardinal squad won the 2017 women’s NCAA title.
University of Florida head coach Gregg Troy guided Caeleb Dressel to record-setting heights in 2017. At the FINA World Championships, Dressel joined Michael Phelps as the only swimmers to win seven gold medals at a single world championships. Individually, Dressel won gold in the 50m and 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly and set a trio of American records in Budapest. A men’s assistant coach for Team USA in Budapest, Troy also coached the Dressel-led Gators to a third-place finish at the men’s 2017 NCAA Championships. He is a two-time Golden Goggle Award winner as Coach of the Year.
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