July 7, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky swimming and diving program is adding Don Gibb as an assistant coach it was announced by Gary Conelly, Tuesday.
Gibb is a 24-year veteran of coaching and served as the head coach of both the South Carolina and Florida State programs for 15 years.
“It is a tremendous thrill to be able to join the UK swimming and diving program and to be back in the premier swimming conference in America, the SEC,” said Gibb. “I have always admired Gary Conelly and his ability to consistently lead this program to success at both the conference and NCAA Championship level.
“I look forward to my role working specifically with the sprinters and doing my part to help the Wildcats pursue championship caliber performances both in the pool and in the classroom. I believe we have all the tools in place from superior administrative leadership, an outstanding facility, a skilled and proven coaching staff, and most importantly talented and motivated student-athletes. I appreciate this great opportunity that Gary and UK have afforded the entire Gibb family.”
Gibb led SEC-member South Carolina from 1999-2007 and his squad was a consistent top-25 program in the country under his direction. Prior to his stint in Colombia, S.C., Gibb was the head coach at Florida State from 1992-99. At FSU, he took over a struggling program and made it into one of the best in the nation. Twice he was tabbed the ACC Coach of the Year and coached three NCAA champions, an Olympic finalist and more than 20 All-Americans.
“We are very excited about having Don Gibb join our staff,” said Conelly. “He has the experience and insight to help take our team to the next level. He has continually proven himself as one of the best coaches in the country.
“As a head coach, Don proved himself as one of the best sprint coaches in college swimming. He is well known and respected in the swimming community, so he is going to be a tremendous asset to the University of Kentucky.”
The two programs Gibb led accumulated a number of accolades. Over 112 school records were broken and he coached three NCAA champions and two runners-up. Gibb directed his athletes to 20 All-America distinctions, 38 individual conference titles, four swimmers of the year honors, while 69 swimmers earned NCAA qualifying marks. A Gibb-led squad is equally impressive in the classroom.
In 2006, South Carolina’s women’s team earned the top-team grade point average in the nation with a cumulative number of 3.606.
Before becoming the head coach at Florida State, Gibb spent five years as an assistant at the University of Florida. While in Gainesville, he had the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s best coaches in Randy Reese, Skip Foster and Mitch Ivey.
On the international level, Gibb has guided eight Olympians including an Olympic finalist at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He has also led swimmers to qualification for the Pan Pacific Games, Pan American Games and the World Games. Additionally, his swimmers have been among the World Championship finalists and Commonwealth Games medalists.
Gibb, who was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, brings a wealth of SEC swimming experience as a coach and as an athlete to Kentucky. A five-time All-America selection at the University of Florida, he was an SEC and an NCAA champion in 1983. He was ranked among the top 25 in the world in the 100-meter freestyle in 1982 and 1983 and was a member of the Gator 400-meter freestyle relay squad that shared the American record in 1983. Gibb also led the Gators to the 1983 SEC Championship and the NCAA Team Championship that same year.
In 1997, Gibb served as the Head Coach for Venezuela at the Maccabiah Games.
His career began in 1985 as a coach with the Nashville Aquatic Club. Also on that staff, was Kentucky assistant coach John Brucato.
Gibb and his wife, Gena, have four children, Sarah, Emily, Hannah and son, Dylan.
Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for complete up-to-date information regarding the Kentucky swimming and diving teams.