Gary Taylor, who has spent the previous six seasons at North Carolina State, including the last two as associate head coach, was named head coach of the Auburn swimming and diving program on April 29, 2018.
"The search process for our new head coach was focused on finding the best fit for Auburn. It was important to find a coach who is committed to developing our student-athletes academically while also competing for conference and national championships as we have throughout the storied history of Auburn's swimming & diving program," said Director of Athletics Allen Greene. "Coach Taylor's values, expertise and experience align with the expectations I have for all of our head coaches. He also shares my obsession for the student-athlete experience, my obsession for winning championships and my obsession for making the Auburn Family proud."
Taylor played a vital part in guiding the NC State men to four-straight Atlantic Coast Conference Championship titles and three consecutive top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including top four finishes in each of the last three years. In addition, the Wolfpack women were crowned conference champions in 2017, tabbing its first conference title since 1980. The women's team also achieved its highest NCAA finish in program history, placing seventh in 2017.
"I would like to thank President Steven Leath and Athletics Director Allen Greene for providing me with this awesome opportunity. I am extremely excited to lead the Auburn Swimming & Diving program," Taylor said. "It has been a goal and aspiration of mine to be a head coach in the SEC. The opportunity to lead the Auburn program is certainly a dream for me. I'm really excited to begin working with the student-athletes, getting my hands dirty and doing everything I can on a daily basis to develop this program into a team that performs at the level everyone expects." Taylor's primary responsibility with the NC State program was working with the distance freestyle events and stroke aspects and assisting with recruiting responsibilities. In six seasons Taylor coached 11 swimmers to NC State school records and 97 to all-time top 10 performances.
This past season, Taylor's distance group was the only in Division I to have a male and female finish in top three of 1650 freestyle at the NCAA Championships, including NCAA men's champion Anton Ipsen. The NC State men earned a fourth-place finish at the 2018 NCAA Championships, winning a program-best five NCAA titles. The women finished 18th, which included three top-16 finishes in the 1650 free.
Ipsen was named the 2018 ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year as he earned All-America honors in the 500 free and All-America honorable mention honors in the 400 IM to go along with his 1650 free title. He was an ACC Champion in the 1650 free, 500 free, 400 IM and 800 free relay.
During the 2016-17 season, Taylor coached four athletes to the men's and women's NCAA Championships where they earned seven total All-America honors. At the ACC Championships, he led Ipsen to his third-straight title in the 500 free and a runner-up finish in the 1650 free. Adam Linker also tabbed All-ACC honors in the 500 and 1650 free events. On the women's side, Taylor helped Hannah Moore to All-ACC honors in the 500 free and 400 IM and Rachel Muller to a third place finish in the 1650 free.
In the 2015-16 season Taylor helped to lead Ipsen to ACC titles and All-America honors in the 500 and 1650 free for the second-straight season, as well as a berth to the 2016 Olympic Games in the 400m and 1,500m freestyle. Linker additionally earned the first All-America honors of his career in the 500 and 1650 free at the 2016 NCAA Championship.
Taylor also played a part in the development of recent graduate Christian McCurdy and Justin Ress's successful rookie season. McCurdy was a three-time ACC Champion and All-American during his career and Ress was named the 2016 ACC Male Freshman of the Year. Ipsen tabbed the mention in 2015, marking the second-straight year a Wolfpack swimmer earned the honor.
On the women's side Taylor helped the Pack create program history in the 2015-16 season as the team placed second at the ACC Championship and ninth at NCAAs. This marked the highest conference and national finish since 1982. In her first semester with the Wolfpack sophomore Moore earned All-ACC and All-America honors in three events while senior transfer Shelly Craddock earned the first All-America honor of her career as a member of the 12th-place 800 free relay. She also helped the relay squad place second at ACCs. Additionally, Rachel Muller wrapped up the most successful season of her career at NC State as she placed third in the 1650 free at the conference championship and collected four All-America honors from her second trip to NCAAs.
In his third season at NC State, Taylor guided freshman Ipsen to a sweep in the distance freestyle events at the ACC Championships, as Ipsen won the 500 and 1650 free. For his performance at the conference championships, Ipsen was named ACC Male Freshman of the Year. Taylor also saw Ipsen collect All-America honors in both events, as he finished fifth in the 1650 and 10thin the 500 to set school records. Under his tutelage, Taylor also saw Linker earn an invite to the USA Swimming Open Water Select Camp- an exclusive camp which only 24 swimmers around the country are invited to participate in.
Taylor's second season saw Austin Snyder earn All-ACC accolades in the 1650 free, as he finished second overall with a time of 15:09.06, the second best time in school history. Taylor was also instrumental in helping freshman Linker earn a top-five finish at the ACC Championships with a time of 15:14.02 and the third fastest time in the history of the program.
In Taylor's first season with the program, Snyder and Brandon Kingston earned NCAA `B' Standards in the 1650 freestyle event. Snyder's time of 15:12.16 in the ACC Championships was the second best time in school history. Taylor also assisted in signing a 23-member recruiting class that features athletes from around the globe.
Prior to joining the NC State staff, Taylor spent the previous four years as the distance coach and recruiting coordinator at Florida State. The distance program at Florida State flourished under Taylor's tutelage as eight school records were broken during his stint with the program, and 43 all-time top-10 marks were achieved.
Taylor guided four athletes to individual crowns at the ACC Championships while at Florida State, including Juan Sequera, who was named Freshman of the Year in 2012, and Mateo DeAngulo, who took home Swimmer of the Year and Performer of the Championships honors. Taylor guided seven individuals to the NCAA Championships over the course of his four seasons, including DeAngulo, who earned first team All-America honors in 2012.
Aside from coaching the distance program, Taylor was also a valuable recruiter for the Seminoles, and played a key role in signing several top national recruits, as well as top classes. Last season's incoming class at Florida State was ranked No. 19 in the country.
Prior to taking the reigns of the distance program at Florida State, Taylor spent three years coaching for the Dynamo Swim Club in Atlanta, Ga. He coached multiple age sectional and state record holders, as well as age group sectional and state champions. He was named the Georgia Age Group Coach of the Year in 2007.
Before coaching with the Dynamo, Taylor spent six years with the Twin Cities Swim Team. He was the lead site coach in Minnetonka, Minn., and gained experience in both the business and coaching aspects of the sport through the program.
Taylor was a former student-athlete at the University of Minnesota, and was a member of the 1998 Big Ten Championship swimming team. He graduated in 2001 with a B.S. in sport management.
Taylor is married to the former Amy Mutarelli of Ocala, Fla. She is an Auburn graduate.
Michael Joyce joined the Auburn Swimming and Diving coaching staff as an assistant coachon May 8, 2018. Joyce spent last season at Arizona State after previously spending time alongside Taylor at NC State.
“Mike is young, passionate, energetic and extremely outgoing,” Taylor said. “Mike has a lot of connections not only at the club level but also at the college level. I had the opportunity to get to know Mike during my time at NC State. He was someone that wasn’t scared to get up early and stay up late and he worked hard all day through in between. I want to be surrounded by people with energy and passion and great minds for the sport who see big things for Auburn in the future. Mike is one of those and he is going to be a tremendous asset in coaching, recruiting and every aspect of the program.”
In his only season with the Sun Devils, Joyce helped Arizona State to a 20th-place finish at the men’s national championships and a 23rd-place finish at the women’s meet. Working mainly with the sprint group, Arizona State saw numerous members of the group earn invitations to the NCAA Championships and also saw the school record in the women’s 200 free relay fall.
“Gary and I worked together once before and I know the type of passion, energy and enthusiasm he brings each day and I look forward to being alongside him again,” Joyce said. “I’m aware of the Auburn swimming tradition. It is one that is second-to-none and I’m looking to help the program get back to the place in the standings it is capable of.”
Before making the move to Tempe, Joyce served as the lead Sprint & Middle-Distance Coach for the 2016 Ivy League conference and dual meet champion men’s team at Princeton, assisting 2016 Ivy League Men’s Coach of the Year Rob Orr. He coached four individual Ivy League Conference champions, three conference relay champions, and seven Scholar All-Americans during his time at Princeton as well as seven Olympic Trial qualifiers.
While at Princeton, Joyce directly oversaw all recruiting, team travel, equipment orders, training plans, dry land and out-of-season training, and assisted Orr in all fundraising efforts.
Prior to Princeton, Joyce served as a volunteer assistant coach at NC State during which the men won the 2015 ACC title, with the men’s and women’s teams breaking a combined 45 school records and 15 conference records in his two seasons in Raleigh.
Joyce also has experience as the Head Age-Group Coach/Senior Assistant Coach at Raleigh Swimming Association (2013-15), Gator Swim Club Elite and Age Group Assistant Coach (2012-13), and at his alma mater.
Joyce is a double graduate of the University of Florida, earning his B.S. in Event and Recreation Management (Dec. 2011) and Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration (May 2015).
The All-American and two-time Olympic Trials qualifier earned four consecutive NCAA Scholar All-America and SEC Academic First Team honors.
“I’m glad and thankful for the opportunity to get back to the southeast, where my wife is from and we both went to school,” Joyce said.
Joyce is married to the former Kirsten Smith, who was also an All-American swimmer at Florida.
Jeana Kempe, who spent the past six seasons as part of the staff at LSU, has been hired as an assistant coach by Gary Taylor at Auburn, Taylor announced on Monday.
"I'm really excited to welcome Jeana to the Auburn Swimming and Diving Family," Taylor said. "I think one of the things that really excited me the most about Jeana was her energy, enthusiasm and passion for Auburn and really wanting to have an opportunity to be here. I am drawn to people that are drawn to me and that are drawn to Auburn University and Jeana was from day one. She is a ball of energy, very out-going and very easy to communicate with.
"Jeana will be a fantastic recruiter and will get to know her athletes on a really deep and personal level," Taylor continued. "She comes to us with great swimming experience at the NCAA Division I level at UCLA but she also has some really good coaching experience at Northern Arizona first and then over the past six years at LSU. She will be a tremendous asset to this program in a variety of areas."
Kempe began her career at LSU as an assistant coach in Oct. 2012 before being promoted to Associate Head Women's Coach in April 2017.
"I am honored and really excited to be a part of the future of the Auburn Swimming and Diving program," Kempe said. "Gary's personality is infectious and his vision for Auburn is second-to-none."
During Kempe's time at LSU the women's team has reached new heights, finishing fifth at the SEC Championships in 2016, its highest finish since the 2011-12 season. The program also sent a program record 11 swimmers and divers to NCAA Championships in back-to-back years.
Kempe also aided in individual success, especially the development of Caley Oquist into the top backstroke specialist in program history. In four seasons, Oquist broke school records in the 100 and 200 backstroke and qualified for NCAA Championships three straight seasons.
In addition to working with Oquist, Kempe contributed to Colleen O'Neil's growth in the breaststroke events. In three seasons under Kempe, O'Neil qualified individually for NCAA's in the 100 breast and 200 breast and set the second-fastest 100 and 200 breast times in school history. At the 2016 NCAA Championships, O'Neil was also a part of the school record 400-medely relay team.
Kempe has also worked with men's team members Silas Dejean, Garrett House and Harry Ackland during her time in Baton Rouge. Dejean was a part of the 400-medley relay school record team and also qualified for NCAA Championships with two relays in 2015. Dejean, Ackland and House also swam times on LSU's top-10 list.
"I would like to thank Dave (Geyer) and Doug Shaffer for the opportunity to be a part of the LSU program over the last six years," Kempe said. "I appreciate the time I have spent in Baton Rouge growing as a coach. My time here has shaped the person I am today."
Prior to her stint at LSU, Kempe served as an assistant coach for two years at Northern Arizona. Kempe led NAU swimmers to 14 NCAA 'B' cuts and 14 school records. In addition, 28 program all-time top-five swims were registered.
NAU posted two top-three finishes at the WAC Championships with Kempe as an assistant coach, including a second place finish in 2012. Four NAU swimmers were named CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major All-Americans during the 2011-12 season. The swimmers won five individual titles during the 2012 WAC Championships.
During her time in Flagstaff, Kempe also worked with developing the training schedule and dry land programs, organizing recruiting logistics and coordinating alumni relations.
Kempe, the former Jeana Fuccillo, was a four-year letter winner at UCLA. She helped lead the Bruins to a pair of second-place finishes in the Pac-12 Conference during her career. She was a three-time top-eight finisher at the Pac-12 Championships and served as team captain her senior season.
Following her collegiate swimming career, Kempe worked in the UCLA athletic department. Kempe mentored student-athletes and helped them succeed in the class room.
Kempe worked as an academic graduate assistant in the NAU athletic department while pursuing her graduate studies in the college of education. As a graduate assistant, she helped the academic coordinators in eligibility and performance of student-athletes.
While in Flagstaff, Kempe gained coaching experience working with the Flagstaff Peaks Aquatic Club.
Prior to swimming at UCLA, Kempe was the Illinois High School Swimmer of the Year, a Junior National Champion, Olympic Trials qualifier (2000 and 2004), National Junior Team member and a US National Finalist.
Kempe, a native of Lebanon, Ill., was an Athletic Director's Honor Roll selection at UCLA and earned her undergraduate degree in sociology in 2007. She completed her master's degree in educational psychology and human relations at NAU in December 2009.
Kempe and her husband, Andrew, have a daughter, Avery.
Gideon Louw, who was a key member of Auburn's last national championship winning swimming and diving team, returned to the Plains as an assistant coach in May 2018.
Louw has spent the past four seasons at Minnesota, the last two as associate head coach, focusing on recruiting and the sprint freestyle group.
Louw has been on deck for a resurgence at Minnesota as the Gopher men moved up from a 25th-place finish at NCAAs his first season (2015) to 15th this past year. This past season sprinter Bowen Becker was the Big 10 Champion in the 50 free and finished third at NCAAs in the event. Bowen, the Big 10 record holder in the 50 free (18.69), also took 14th in the 100 free and was on the 200 medley relay that earned All-America honorable mention at NCAAs.
Louw helped engineer a turnaround for the Gopher men's relays in 2016. After sending no relays to the NCAA Championships in 2015, they sent four in 2016 and then five in 2017 and 2018, with the 200 medley relay scoring in both 2016 and 2018 and the 400 free relay team scoring in 2017.
Outside of collegiate coaching, Louw also works with Olympic hopefuls. Minnesota alumnus David Plummer, who trained with Louw leading up to the 2016 Olympics, won a bronze medal in the 100m backstroke and a gold medal with the United States' 400m medley relay.
Louw went to Minnesota after serving two seasons as a graduate assistant at Florida State where he provided planning and implementation of workouts and provided analysis and instruction of swimming techniques, among other duties. While at FSU, Louw helped the Seminole men to a 14th-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Championships.
A 2008 and 2012 Olympian for his native South Africa, Louw remains one of the top sprinters in Auburn swimming and diving history, still holding top-10 times in both the 50 free (18.99/8th) and 100 free (41.95/8th) and part of the school record in both the 200 and 400 free relays.
At the 2012 London Olympics, Louw finished fifth as a member of the 400m free relay and ninth in the 50m free. During the 2008 Games, he finished 12th in the 50 free.
As a student-athlete at Auburn, Louw played an integral role in helping Auburn claim its eighth NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championship as a junior in 2009. That season he was a three-time NCAA Champion as a member of the 200 free relay and 200 and 400 medley relay teams, with the 200 medley relay team setting the NCAA record (1:14.08). As a senior in 2010, he placed third in the 100 free and fifth in the 50 free individually and second in the 200 free relay and both medley relays.
"It is a big honor to come back to Auburn," Louw said. "I feel like I am picking up where I left off. As a former athlete at Auburn I am excited for the opportunity to, once again, put in hard work to help realize the success that the Auburn Swimming and Diving program deserves."
Louw began his collegiate career at Indian River State College in Ft. Pierce, Fla., where he was a seven-time NJCAA champion in 2008, winning the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 800 free relay and 400 medley relay. For his efforts he was named NJCAA Swimmer of the Year.
Louw was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 2014 and into the Indian River State College Hall of Fame in 2013. He earned a degree in exercise science from Auburn in 2011 and earned a master's degree in exercise physiology from Florida State in 2014.
Louw is married to Shanda Louw, also a former Division I swimmer.
Duncan Sherrard, who has been an assistant coach at North Carolina for the past three seasons, joined the Auburn Swimming & Diving staff on May 7, 2018.
“I am extremely humbled and excited that Gary reached out to me and has given me the opportunity to join his staff at Auburn,” Sherrard said. “Auburn is a top-tier program and I’m excited to be a part of such a rich tradition and legacy. I can’t wait to get to The Plains to start coaching.”
Sherrard, the former head swimming coach at Florida Southern College and a multiple All-American swimmer at Florida, joined the North Carolina staff in 2015. During his three seasons at UNC, the Tar Heels established school records in all five men’s relays, four out of five women’s relays and both sprint freestyles on the women’s side.
“Duncan stands out as being very professional, very hard working and he wants to be really successful,” Taylor said. “He brings energy and passion to the sport and he’ll bring a great dynamic to my staff at Auburn.”
This past season, Sherrard coached Caroline Baldwin to an eighth-place finish in the 50 free and a 10th-place finish in the 100 free at the NCAA Championships. Baldwin, who set the ACC Conference record in the 50 free, was UNC’s first 50 free finalist in back-to-back seasons in 20 years as the UNC women also brought home a 10th-place finish in the 200 free relay.
“Duncan has been a winner at every level he’s ever been on,” Taylor said. “He understands grit, determination and hard work. He knows what it takes to become a winner and that’s what I want to be surrounded by.”
In the summer of 2017, Sherrard served as an assistant coach for the U.S. women’s swimming team which competed at the 2017 World University Games in Taoyuan City, Chinese Taipei. Two Tar Heel swimmers competed in the competition. Caroline Baldwin won the gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle and Hellen Moffitt earned gold in the 100-meter butterfly. Baldwin and Moffitt both swam on the 400-meter medley relay which won a silver medal and Baldwin was a member of the U.S. team which won the bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle relay.
Aided by the excellent coaching efforts of Sherrard, the 2016-17 Tar Heel teams placed 41 swimmers and divers on the ACC Academic Honor Roll and five individuals on the All-ACC Academic Teams. The Tar Heel men set seven school records in short course events while the UNC women, aided by Caroline Baldwin who became the Tar Heels first 50 free finalist in 19 years, established 10 short course University records (including in four of five relays) and nine University long course records fell. Both Tar Heel squads earned College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America Team status in each semester of 2016-17 as well.
In his first season working with the Tar Heels, Sherrard helped lead UNC to 7-3 dual-meet records for both men and women as Carolina faced the most challenging dual-meet schedule in Tar Heel history, including non-conference opponents Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee and Texas. Both Carolina teams placed third in the ACC Championships. Twelve school records were broken during the course of the season and 30 UNC swimmers qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials. He was also the primary coach for senior Sam Lewis who raced to the ACC title in the 100-yard butterfly.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that Rich DeSelm and UNC swimming and diving gave me these past three years,” Sherrard said. “It was an exciting time and it was an honor to coach the wonderful student-athletes that were a part of the program.”
Sherrard, who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Florida in 2002 and a M.Ed. in educational leadership and higher education administration from Florida Atlantic in 2009, had been the head coach at Florida Southern in Lakeland since 2009 before becoming a Tar Heel. Simultaneously, he had served as the owner and head swim coach at Lakeland Area Swimming. Prior to going to FSC, he was an assistant swimming coach at Indian River State College in Ft. Pierce, Fla., from 2006-09.
Sherrard came to Chapel Hill after a distinguished tenure at Florida Southern where he was named the Sunshine State Conference Men’s Coach of the Year four times. He led the Moccasins to Sunshine State Conference titles each of his last three years there (2013-15). In both 2013 and 2014, Florida Southern finished as the NCAA Division II runner-up after grabbing third place in 2012. His women’s team also excelled as it finished in the Top 10 of the NCAA Division II Championships four years in a row from 2011-14 while the men were in the Top 10 five successive seasons (2011-15).
Thirty-three different Moccasin swimmers accounted for 278 All-America honors during his tenure, including nine NCAA champions (eight individual swimmers and four national champion relay teams). The team broke NCAA Division II records in two individual events and three relays. Sherrard also coached student-athletes to the 2012 Olympic Games and to the 2011 and 2013 FINA World Championships. FSC was also honored with a pair of Elite 89 winners at the 2012 women’s and 2013 men’s NCAA Division II Championships, given to the student-athletes competing at the meet with the highest grade point averages.
Sherrard’s tutelage at Indian River State was also key to the teams’ success there as they won the 2007 and 2008 women’s and men’s National Junior College Athletic Association crowns. Over two years, the school produced 76 national championship swimmers and established 29 national records.
Sherrard also served as head coach for Buchholz High School in Gainesville from 2004-06 and was an age group swim coach with Gator Swim Club from 2002-05.
Sherrard was a decorated collegiate swimmer at Florida where he swam from 1998-2002. He was a 14-time NCAA All-America his final three years and was named Southeastern Conference first-team selection each of those seasons. He captained the Gators as a senior in 2001-02.
Sherrard is married to Diane Tennison Sherrard, a six-time NCAA All-America swimmer at the University of Florida. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in sports management in 2003 and a Master of Science in sports management in 2004, both from UF. Diane is employed by the UNC Educational Foundation as development associate for scholarship and legacy gifts. The Sherrards have two children, Reagan, 11, and Nathan, nine. Sherrard is a life-long Chicago Cubs fan and an avid runner.
Director of Operations
Began at Auburn: November 2015
Education: Henderson received her bachelor's degree in business administration with a minor in philanthropic and nonprofit studies from Auburn University in 2015.
Past Experience: Henderson joined athletics after working for Auburn University's College of Sciences and Mathematics as a development coordinator. Prior to her role as the Director of Swimming and Diving Operations, Henderson served as a special events coordinator.
John Carroll Jr.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Volunteer Assistant Coach