FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Sean Schimmel has been named head women’s swimming and diving coach at the University of Arkansas, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long announced Monday.
Schimmel joins the Razorback program after spending the last four seasons as the head coach at the University of Maryland. Prior to his tenure with the Terrapins, he was an assistant coach at LSU and at Harvard.
“We are pleased to announce the selection of Sean Schimmel as the head coach of our swimming and diving program,” Long said. “Sean brings a tremendous wealth of experience to our program including a clear understanding of what is required to build and maintain a competitive swimming and diving program within the Southeastern Conference and nationally.
“He has been an integral part of nationally competitive programs as a student-athlete, assistant coach and head coach. Throughout his coaching career, he has mentored student-athletes enabling them to achieve at a high level in the pool and in the classroom. I am confident that under Coach Schimmel’s leadership our swimming and diving program will continue to succeed athletically and academically while proudly representing the University of Arkansas.”
“Going through the process, every step of the way it was clear to me how important swimming and diving is to the Razorback program and the University of Arkansas,” Schimmel said. “I am thankful to Jeff Long, Jon Fagg and Tracey Stehlik for providing me the opportunity to come to the University of Arkansas and lead this program. I am excited to get on campus to meet with the strong young women on the team as we prepare for not only the 2012-13 season, but also moving the program forward to accomplish things that have never been done before at the University of Arkansas.”
“I am looking forward to returning to the Southeastern Conference and utilizing everything that affiliation brings to our program in achieving success. The SEC is one of the best swimming conferences in the country. Our student-athletes benefit from the competitiveness of the SEC and the resources provided for a quality student-athlete experience.”
While the head coach at Maryland, Schimmel led the men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs for four seasons. It wasn’t long into his tenure with Maryland that it became evident the program was on the upswing as Terps swimmers tallied 25 school records – 14 on the men’s and 11 on the women’s side — in Schimmel’s first year.
More recently, in 2009-10 and 2010-11, he guided the Terps to a top 25 finishes at the NCAA Championships on the women’s side. In four seasons with the women’s team, Schimmel went 37-8 in dual meet action, and Maryland swimmers also totaled 19 All-America nods.
The Terps were no stranger to academic success under Schimmel’s tutelage, as Maryland was named a College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America team for three consecutive seasons, and this season seven Terps received Academic All-ACC honors, with 27 total honors in his four seasons.
Prior to his time at Maryland, he was the associate head coach at LSU from 2007-2009 and served as the top assistant at Harvard from 1999-2006. During his time at LSU and Harvard, Schimmel coached a total of 53 All-Americans.
At Harvard he helped capture four Ivy League conference championships with the Crimson.
He joined the Harvard staff after becoming the head coach at the La Canada Flintridge YMCA in California, where he coached several men and women to the YMCA National Championships. While working with the YMCA, he managed a staff of three coaches and a 115-member swim team.
Schimmel had an impressive collegiate swimming career as a power in the butterfly and freestyle events for the University of Southern California (1987-91). Schimmel competed in the 1988 Olympic trials in the 100 and 200-meter butterfly. In 1992, he graduated from USC with a bachelor’s in communications.
Schimmel is married to the former Tricia Starr, and the couple has two daughters, Peyton Lilly and Dillan Rose.