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SMU names Ozzie Quevedo women's swimming/diving head coach

Postby PonyPride » Mon Apr 17, 2023 11:03 pm

From SMUMustangs.com:

Quevedo Tabbed To Lead SMU Women’s Swimming Program

DALLAS (SMU) - Ozzie Quevedo has been named Head Women's Swimming Coach at SMU, Director of Athletics Rick Hart announced today. Quevedo comes to the Hilltop from Alabama, where he served as associate head coach, having joined the Tide in 2019.

"For 37 years, Steve Collins led this program with integrity, competed for championships and built a solid foundation for success. I want to thank him for his dedication and for setting a bar of undisputed excellence," said Quevedo. "I am excited to lead this program moving forward and build upon what has been done with hopes to reach even greater heights. The Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center, Barr-McMillion Natatorium and Holt Hickman Outdoor Pool make up one of the best swimming facilities in the nation and we are blessed to have these world-class resources to develop current and future Mustang swimmers.

"As I leave Tuscaloosa, I want to thank Greg Byrne (Alabama A.D.), our sport administrators - Dr. Karin Lee, Tiffini Grimes and Marie Robinson, as well as Coach Margo Geer, our entire coaching and support staff and every student-athlete I had the humbling opportunity to coach at Alabama over the past four incredible seasons.

"I would also like to thank Rick Hart, Ryan McCabe and all those on the search committee for the opportunity to lead the women's program," Quevedo added. "Rick has established a tremendous vision for SMU Athletics and I am so glad to be joining the team. My family and I are proud to call SMU home and cannot wait to get started."

"We are delighted to welcome Ozzie, Irene, Victoria, Camilla and Nicholas to the Hilltop," said Hart. "Ozzie's experience as an elite athlete, a coach at some of the top swim programs in the country and his vision for the future of SMU women's swimming propelled him to the top of our list. He will continue our tradition of excellence established under Steve Collins and win championships with integrity. I'd like to thank the search committee and our swimming alumni for their support during this process."

Quevedo joined the Crimson Tide swimming and diving staff as associate head coach in June 2019 and served as interim head coach from December 2020 through May 2021, before being promoted to senior associate head coach in July 2022.

In the 2022-23 season, Quevedo helped the Alabama men's and women's teams to top-20 finishes at the NCAA Championships, as they finished 19th and 14th, respectively. The year also saw 17 swimmers and divers earn CSCAA All-America accolades, while Derek Maas earned the prestigious Elite 90 Award, marking the first time an Alabama swimmer or diver won the award.

During the 2021-22 season, the Crimson Tide women earned its highest finish at the NCAA Championships in program history, taking fourth place with a school-record 288 points. The Alabama men would post their eighth-consecutive top-15 national finish, taking 14th at NCAAs. The men and women would see a combined 17 swimmers and divers earn 58 All-America honors. At the Southeastern Conference Championships, the Tide men were second, their best finish since 1987, while the women were third, their best finish since 1994. The men and women combined to earn 23 medals at the conference meet, including 11 gold. Overall, the Crimson Tide broke 13 school records during the 2021-22 season. On the women's side of the slate, every swimming record but one (the 400 individual medley) was held by a member of the 2021-22 team.

Quevedo was recognized as one of the nation's top coaches when, prior to the 2021-22 season, he was named to the United States National Team coaching staff and served as an assistant coach on Team USA's 2021 FINA World Short Course Championships squad in Abu Dhabi.

Under Quevedo's tutelage, Rhyan White continued to thrive on the national and international scene during the 2021-22 season. White started an extraordinary year at the 2021 United States Swimming Olympic Team Trials. Already the first Alabama woman to ever earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic Swim Team after taking second in the 100-meter backstroke, White became the first UA woman to win an event at the U.S. Olympic Trials, taking the top spot in the 200m backstroke by more than a half second, going 2:05.73, bettering her own school record and personal best in the event by more than a second. White earned a silver medal as part of Team USA's 400m medley relay contingent at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. She also took fourth in both the 100m and 200m backstrokes in Tokyo. After returning to campus, she earned a spot on the 2021 U.S. FINA World Short Course Championships that competed in Abu Dhabi in December, winning gold in the 200m backstroke by nearly half a second. She also earned a silver medal as part Team USA's 200m medley relay. At the 2022 SEC Championships, she swept the 100 and 200 backstroke titles for the third-consecutive year, while taking silver in 100 butterfly, giving her nine individual SEC medals over the past three years. She also took gold in the 200 and 400 medley relays with school, SEC Championships and SEC records. Her efforts at the 2022 NCAA Championships propelled Alabama to fourth place, its best team finish at the national championships in program history.

White rolled right back into international competition following the NCAA Championships, earning a place on the 2022 FINA World Long Course Championships team at the U.S. International Team Trials. At the U.S. Team Trials, she took second in the 200 backstroke with a career-best 2:05.13, dipping under the previous U.S. Open record and ranking third in the world in 2022. White also ranked fifth in the world in 2022 in the 100m backstroke. At the FINA Championships in Budapest, Hungary, White earned a bronze medal in the 200 backstroke for the U.S. and Kalia Antoniou from Cyprus was a semifinalist in both the 50 and 100 free. For her efforts, Antoniou earned the prestigious 2022 "Sports Women Of The Year Award" for Cyprus.

During the 2020-21 season, while serving as interim head coach, Quevedo helped the UA women match their highest national finish in school history while Cora Dupre, Flora Molnar, Kalia Antoniou and Morgan Scott capped off the Tide's historical run by winning the 400 freestyle relay, just the second Alabama NCAA relay title and the first by the women's program. White continued to score big for the Tide, earning silver in the 200 backstroke, bronze in the 100 backstroke and fifth in the 100 butterfly at NCAAs.

The Crimson Tide's relay win closed a phenomenal week-long showing that ended with Alabama taking fifth place with a school-record 266 points. Alabama bettered its previous high-point total by more than 80 points. In addition to tying its best NCAA Championships finish since 1983, it was the Tide women's first top-25 finish since 2005 and first in the top-10 since 1994.

The Tide men posted their seventh-consecutive top-15 NCAA Championships team finish, taking 15th place at the national championships. Overall, 15 Tide men and women combed to earn 48 All-America honors in 2021.

At the 2021 SEC Championships, the men and women combined to win 10 gold medals, including four relay and six individual titles. Overall, Alabama earned 20 gold, silver or bronze medals at the SEC Championships and White won the SEC Commissioner's Trophy and was named the SEC Female Swimmer of the Year. As a program, Alabama broke 11 school records, including four relays in 2020-21.

On the international stage at the 2021 Fina World Championships in Abu Dhabi, Kaique Alves (Brazil) earned a bronze medal in the 4x200 freestyle relay and Diana Petkova (Bulgaria) was a semifinalist in the 100 IM.

In Quevedo's first season in Tuscaloosa, the Tide qualified 24 student-athletes for the NCAA Championships, earning 57 All-America honors, winning a league-best nine SEC titles, setting SEC records in four different events and breaking 23 school records over the five days of the SEC Championships.

Quevedo also helped White to a breakout sophomore season in 2020 that saw her win SEC gold in the 100 and 200 backstroke and set SEC records in both events as well as shattering the school marks in the 100 and 200 backstroke and 100 and 200 butterfly. She was the No. 1 seed in the 200 backstroke heading into the 2020 NCAA Championships before they were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quevedo joined the Tide following three seasons as Florida State's assistant head coach. During his time in Tallahassee, the Seminoles made an impressive jump in the national rankings, going from 31st in 2017 to 14th in 2019.

Quevedo's tenure at FSU followed three seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Auburn (2013-16), where he worked with all groups, including the professionals who competed in the 2016 Olympic Games where he was a head coach for Suriname.

Prior to Auburn, Quevedo coached on the club and high school levels and was the head coach of National Training Center Aquatics in Clermont, Florida, where he produced senior and junior national swimmers. In addition to NTCA, he coached both the men's and women's teams at the Montverde Academy.

An NCAA champion, six-time All-American and five-time SEC champion, Quevedo specialized in the butterfly and freestyle and was a vital part of bringing home the Tigers' second NCAA title in 1999. In 2000, he was a part of the Tigers' NCAA champion 200 freestyle relay squad that set a U.S. Open and NCAA record that stood for four years. Quevedo graduated from Auburn with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 2004.

A 2000 Olympian for his native Venezuela, Quevedo swam the 100 butterfly and 400 freestyle relay in Sydney. He was the Venezuelan national champion in the 50m and 100m butterfly events in 2000 and set the masters long-course world record in the 50m butterfly (24.15) in 2009. He is also a two-time Pan-American Games medalist.

Quevedo and his wife Irene, have three children, daughters Victoria and Camilla and son Nicholas.

Quevedo succeeds Collins, who led the Mustangs for 37 seasons before announcing his retirement in March.
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Re: SMU names Ozzie Quevedo women's swimming/diving head coa

Postby EastStang » Tue Apr 18, 2023 11:38 am

Didn't Coach Quick coach at Auburn?
UNC better keep that Ram away from Peruna
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Re: SMU names Ozzie Quevedo women's swimming/diving head coa

Postby ponyswim » Wed Apr 19, 2023 7:13 am

Richard Quick coached at Auburn from about 1978-84, then again from 2007-2009 when he passed away.
He was not at Auburn when Ozzie was swimming, nor when Ozzie coached there.
He should be a very good hire for SMU. He did some really good things at Alabama.
The question mark is that the Alabama head coach left mid-season in 2019-2020. That Coach apparently had been overly "hard" on the swimmers. Not sure if Ozzie had any role in that. Ozzie ended up being interim head coach that spring at Alabama and they had a great season.
I consider this to be a very good hire for SMU. He and Greg Rhodenbaugh get along and I think will learn from each other.
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Re: SMU names Ozzie Quevedo women's swimming/diving head coa

Postby Water Pony » Thu Apr 20, 2023 8:40 am

ponyswim wrote:Richard Quick coached at Auburn from about 1978-84, then again from 2007-2009 when he passed away.
He was not at Auburn when Ozzie was swimming, nor when Ozzie coached there.
He should be a very good hire for SMU. He did some really good things at Alabama.
The question mark is that the Alabama head coach left mid-season in 2019-2020. That Coach apparently had been overly "hard" on the swimmers. Not sure if Ozzie had any role in that. Ozzie ended up being interim head coach that spring at Alabama and they had a great season.
I consider this to be a very good hire for SMU. He and Greg Rhodenbaugh get along and I think will learn from each other.


I agree, ponyswim.

He appears to be a strong hire for SMU. If you read the endorsements by other college coaches, Ozzie will be a great coach for SMU Women's Team. Combined with Greg, we have strong leadership for our two programs, which need to move up in class.

If we enter the PAC-12, our level of competition will dramatically increase and help draw national caliber recruits. I can easily see SMU returning to national prominence with our new facilities, strong coaching/leadership, and enhanced recruiting. Pony Up.
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Re: SMU names Ozzie Quevedo women's swimming/diving head coa

Postby PoconoPony » Mon May 22, 2023 9:56 am

I really appreciated the coaching ability and dedication of Coach Steve Collins. 37 years is total dedication. My only difficulty with him was his inability to recruit. He seldom got any top US talent and relied on his foreign connections for a handful of kids over the past 20 years who represented SMU very well at the national level. The problem is that Ozzie inherits a team with minimal depth, talent and no way competitive at the national level. I know that both former Coach Sinnott and Colins were very handicapped for training lanes and space in the old pool then endured a few years of only being able to train outdoors in the old Barr pool and their recruiting suffered as a result. However, that whole situation has dramatically changed with the new indoor pool and a great outdoor pool under construction and it is now time to start bringing in some talent to be more competitive. The test is whether or not Ozzie can recruit and being a late hire in terms of recruiting his results for the 2023 class year should not be judged negatively.
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Re: SMU names Ozzie Quevedo women's swimming/diving head coa

Postby ponyswim » Sat May 27, 2023 9:22 am

Pocono - I very much agree with you. What Steve did was amazing over a period of time. I believe he was the most successful coach ever at SMU in any sport. Being in the top 4 or 5 at the NCAA Championships for I believe 8 years is something no one at SMU has done in a sport that is contested by most top schools. Unfortunately, as many schools built great facilities from 1990 on and invested more money into women's swimming, SMU did not keep up. I think we were lacking both in facilities (now being corrected), and in competitive compensation for assistant coaches (which I don't believe has been corrected.) Steve's connections in Europe for recruiting were much better than those in the US. Because swimming recruiting happens so early these days(most of the top swimmers in the senior class to be in 23-24 are already committed) Ozzie will be challenged to add significant contributors for this fall, and possibly next fall. But with the transfer portal and some of his connections he may also have a lot of success in this time period. The current group that is at SMU maybe has 6-7 women who have a chance to be high level conference swimmers and NCAA participants in the relays or individually next year. There are also maybe 3-5 women with a good amount of ability who through great improvement could join that group with a great summer and fall. Much will be determined by what the women's team does this summer in terms of trying to get better - I will be very interested in how that goes.
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Re: SMU names Ozzie Quevedo women's swimming/diving head coa

Postby Water Pony » Sat May 27, 2023 1:25 pm

Thanks, Pocono and ponyswim,

Both of you have properly placed our current Women’s Team quality and reality, which has promise but lacks depth and high end performers. We have to be patient but I like the long term prospects with Ozzie and hopefully a P5 invitation. We need greater visibility, higher level of competition, and several years of better recruiting.

Our Men have a couple year head start on their return to prominence, but both teams have a brighter future with our new coaching staffs and facilities.
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Re: SMU names Ozzie Quevedo women's swimming/diving head coa

Postby SoCal_Pony » Tue May 30, 2023 12:19 pm

Thanks to all of you for your insights

I always loved SMU S&D in part I’m sure to the enormous success they had from the time i was a kid until my days as an SMU student. During that ~15 year span they were easily the most successful sports program at SMU

Very excited about PAC membership and what it means

Question for all the generous S&D donors….do you foresee any NIL monies specifically targeted to our swimmers…i realize lack of scholarship $$$ is an issue to an expensive private school like SMU
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Re: SMU names Ozzie Quevedo women's swimming/diving head coa

Postby ponyswim » Wed May 31, 2023 2:22 pm

I think with Men's swimming, the first priority for $$ would be to be sure they have what they need to take care of [deleted]'t coaches and other program needs. If we are in the PAC then SMU should have the funds to do that. After that is taken care of, I can see NIL money for the right people. I just think that at least with many swimmers NIL is not going to impact things much, since many of the families are pretty well off. If it does make a difference I would think it would be between programs of a relatively even level. So when were are top 10, 15, or 20 at NCAA's maybe - till then I am not sure.
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Re: SMU names Ozzie Quevedo women's swimming/diving head coa

Postby Water Pony » Wed May 31, 2023 4:33 pm

Our initial objectives need to be 3-4 high performers, who can place at the NCAAs, as well as multiple relay teams, which reflect team depth and quality. The impact is meaningful points at the NCAA Championships, starting in the Top Twenty.
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Re: SMU names Ozzie Quevedo women's swimming/diving head coa

Postby PoconoPony » Tue Jun 06, 2023 6:50 pm

Real challenge if SMU becomes a PAC 12 member. Stanford, California and Arizona are top 20 and AZ State knocking on the door.
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Re: SMU names Ozzie Quevedo women's swimming/diving head coa

Postby Water Pony » Tue Jun 06, 2023 7:38 pm

PoconoPony wrote:Real challenge if SMU becomes a PAC 12 member. Stanford, California and Arizona are top 20 and AZ State knocking on the door.


Unquestionably PoconoPony that is true. The level of competition would be dramatically stronger. However, I view that as a plus. This level of competition will draw recruits, who want that challenge. I would rather start as a small fish in a big pond and not remain a medium fish in a small pond.

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Re: SMU names Ozzie Quevedo women's swimming/diving head coa

Postby ponyswim » Tue Jun 06, 2023 10:23 pm

i agree that being in the PAC is much better, especially for the men - who have no conference teams now. BUT - as Steve Collins reminded me before he left SMU, the women were top 4 for 8 years when they were in the WAC. But in this time, being part of the big conference meets makes it a lot easier to recruit. The men could be pretty good this year if they have a good summer of improvement.
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