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Greg Rhodenbaugh named men's swimming head coach

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Greg Rhodenbaugh named men's swimming head coach

Postby PonyPride » Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:46 pm

From SMUMustangs.com:

Rhodenbaugh Hired To Lead Men’s Swimming Program

DALLAS (SMU) – Former SMU head coach and All-American Greg Rhodenbaugh returns to the Hilltop to lead the men's swimming program, Athletics Director Rick Hart announced Thursday. Rhodenbaugh served as head coach during the 1988-89 season after serving as an assistant and swam for the Mustangs from 1980-84.

As a coach, he led the Mustangs to a runner-up finish at the 1989 Southwest Conference Championships, earning Co-Coach of the Year honors, and guided SMU to a 14th-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

"We are excited to bring an alum home to the Hilltop to lead our men's swimming program," said Hart. "As a former student-athlete and coach here, Greg understands the rich history and tradition of SMU Swimming, and is committed to helping us return our program to an elite national level. We welcome Greg, his wife Lisa, an SMU alumna, and their family back to Dallas."

"I am so excited to be back on the Hilltop, and I am honored to be coaching the Mustangs again," said Rhodenbaugh. "I believe that SMU is one of the premier Universities in the world, and it provides such an incredible opportunity for its student-athletes to excel. With SMU's new Robson and Lindley Aquatics Center and its rich athletic tradition, the Ponies are poised to regain their place as a swimming powerhouse. As an alumnus and former coach, I look forward to helping the program grow and the student-athletes flourish. One of the main reasons I got into coaching was to help position young people for success and prepare them for life after college. SMU did that for me and now I can pay that forward. I would like to thank SMU and Rick Hart for allowing me to fulfill my dream of returning to my alma mater and training the Mustangs."

Rhodenbaugh most recently served as the head coach at Missouri, a position he took over in May of 2010. During his time at Mizzou, Rhodenbaugh drastically increased the Tigers' presence on the National stage. Overall, Rhodenbaugh's tenure with the Tigers saw 23 women earn 124 All-America honors, while 23 men picked up 103. As a team, the men posted the top six NCAA finishes in school history, while the women made it seven.

In just his second season, he led the Mizzou men to a 19th-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Championships, its highest ever, an improved to 14th in 2013. That season, the Tigers produced their first NCAA individual All-American since 1979 and their first All-American relay in program history.

In 2014, the men posted a program-record 95 points at the National event, garnering four First-Team All-America honors, while the women picked up their first individual All-America honor for a freshman since 1978.

Success continued for both programs during the 2014-15 season, with record setting performances at the NCAA Championships. Both teams turned in top-15 finishes, with the men coming in 11th and the women 14th. The men posted five top-seven finishes, while earning six individual and four relay All-America nods. For the first time in school history, two of the women's relays earned All-America honors, including a program record in the 400 medley relay.

Rhodenbaugh guided Mizzou's first individual National Champion in program history, Fabian Schwingenschlogl, to victory in the 100-yard breaststroke at the 2016 Championships. In total, six men and women earned All-America accolades helping the men to an eighth-place finish and the women to 11th that year.

The teams held steady the next season as the men finished within the country's top 10 again at ninth, and the women were 13th. The 2018 Championships saw the Mizzou women finish 15th, earning five total individual All-America honors as well as three relay accolades.

Prior to his time at Mizzou, Rhodenbaugh served as an assistant at Arizona under Frank Busch, helping both the men and women to 2008 NCAA National Championships.

Rhodenbaugh has also served as a member of both the U.S. Swimming National Team and U.S. National Junior Team staffs. He mentored two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Amanda Beard, as well as Mustang medalists Ryan Berube, Ricardo Prado and Lars Frolander.

During his time at SMU as a student-athlete, Rhodenbaugh earned All-America honors in the 100-yard breaststroke (1983, 1984), 200-yard breaststroke (1983) and as part of the 800-yard freestyle relay (1983, 1984). SMU earned four top-10 NCAA finishes, including runner-up honors in 1983.

In addition to his collegiate swimming success, Rhodenbaugh won the 200-meter breaststroke at the 1982 U.S. National Sports Festival and was a member of the U.S. team at the 1983 World University Games in Canada.

Rhodenbaugh and wife Lisa, also a graduate of SMU, have eight children.
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Re: Greg Rhodenbaugh named men's swimming head coach

Postby Pony81 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:17 pm

I’m curious what members of this board who are close to the swimming program think about this hire?
I saw that he has 8 kids..... wow.....what do they pay a swimming coach?
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Re: Greg Rhodenbaugh named men's swimming head coach

Postby ponyswim » Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:29 am

It is a great hire. Even without his connection to SMU he is a great hire. Greg took Missouri from a non factor in big time swimming to being in the neighborhood of the top 10 teams in the country. I have no idea what they are paying him, but I hope it is a good amount - he deserves it. I think Greg was literally the best realistic hire possible - he will make a very significant difference in the men's team, and I think his influence will be felt on the women's side as well.
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Re: Greg Rhodenbaugh named men's swimming head coach

Postby Pony81 » Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:18 pm

That’s good to hear. I hope wins some conference titles plus I’d love to have a few SMU swimmers to follow in the Olympics.
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Re: Greg Rhodenbaugh named men's swimming head coach

Postby PoconoPony » Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:15 pm

Excellent hire. Coach Mac would have approved as he thought highly of Greg.
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Re: Greg Rhodenbaugh named men's swimming head coach

Postby ponyswim » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:25 am

I think they should be better this year, but it will take a year or two of "roster turnover" and "roster change in mind set". For those of us who pay attention, it will be a very interesting 2-3 years to see who comes, who goes, and who decides they really want to be good.
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Re: Greg Rhodenbaugh named men's swimming head coach

Postby Water Pony » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:11 pm

Welcome back to the Hilltop, Greg. The Mustang Swimming & Diving (Mu Sigma Delta) Men's Team needs and deserve to reemerge as a National Program. It will take a renewed focus on recruiting high caliber athletes, who will absolutely love SMU, our swimming legacy and Dallas. With our new Aquatic Center, we have resolved the biggest barrier to achieving the above.

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Re: Greg Rhodenbaugh named men's swimming head coach

Postby ponyswim » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:02 am

I was talking to a friend of mine who is a former Division I swimming coach. He was reminding me how long it has been since SMU has really been good in Men's Swimming. It has been a LONG time. No high school kids will be aware of it, and a pretty good amount of club coaches won't be aware of it. It has been 20-25 years. So Greg can't rely much on a "legacy" as much as excellence in 2019 and beyond. I think he can and will do that, but he has lots of work to do.
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Re: Greg Rhodenbaugh named men's swimming head coach

Postby horsemanx » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:13 am

Seems like a great guy! Good hire.
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Re: Greg Rhodenbaugh named men's swimming head coach

Postby Water Pony » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:50 am

ponyswim wrote:I was talking to a friend of mine who is a former Division I swimming coach. He was reminding me how long it has been since SMU has really been good in Men's Swimming. It has been a LONG time. No high school kids will be aware of it, and a pretty good amount of club coaches won't be aware of it. It has been 20-25 years. So Greg can't rely much on a "legacy" as much as excellence in 2019 and beyond. I think he can and will do that, but he has lots of work to do.


I readily concede that for the last generation of swimmers and fans, we have been off the radar screen as a national, much less a regional, power and college destination. There is greater optimism and realism now, but we need to promote our revitalized brand and facilities and strengthen our competitiveness and schedule, including traveling to Power 5 teams.
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Re: Greg Rhodenbaugh named men's swimming head coach

Postby ponyswim » Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:26 pm

I agree with you Water Pony. I think the first order of business is that the those on the present team swim FAST and show great improvement. Some will drop by the wayside (which will be good), some will do the minimum, but Greg needs a significant group that wants to EXCEL, and does EXCEL. Win conference, score at NCAA's. Show that SMU is on the quick upswing, and then I think Greg will be able to get more talented kids to want to join in.
We can swim a lot of different teams - and get destroyed. I don't think that helps us. We need to swim fast, starting with whatever their big meet will in the fall.
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Re: Greg Rhodenbaugh named men's swimming head coach

Postby PoconoPony » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:28 pm

Has anyone checked out this year's recruiting class? Most had reasonable high school credentials and accomplishments; however, Eddie would never post the times of his recruits so there was no way to quickly sort out the level of recruiting unless one researched each kid. Just hope Greg is not stuck with a second tier frosh class which puts him in a tough position since not one male swimmer even made an NCAA qualifying time last season. ( Diving is the exception where we have a new great coach who made excellent progress in his first year.)
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Re: Greg Rhodenbaugh named men's swimming head coach

Postby ponyswim » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:38 am

I have looked at all the times from incoming recruits, plus what they did this summer.
Definitely some upgrades in ability, but it looks like both from incoming recruits, and from current swimmers not much good happened this summer. Very few competed at a high level, many did not compete at all. Brayden Rudd did well this summer. Their best swimmer last year - breastroker, transferred to Minnesota.
Greg has his work cut out for him. Not sure how many guys on this year's team truly have an interest in being as good as they can be. We will find out. Their ceiling as a team this year is MUCH higher than last year due to the recruiting class.
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Re: Greg Rhodenbaugh named men's swimming head coach

Postby ponyswim » Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:01 pm

Ok Pocono - here is maybe more than you want to know about who can do what in this year's recruiting class.
17 Young Men - all of whom seem to have some level of ability. Under Greg's guidance, it is hard to believe that 1-2 will not have very significant improvement. Of course my hope is that the huge majority do.
I think is a question of - do any of the 20.6-9 50 guys go 19.8 or so, do any of the 49 - 50. backstrokers go 46, do any of the breastrokers go 52 or 53, OR do we settle into the mediocrity of what were good college times 20 years ago ( I am talking about this year). And can any of these guys go REALLY FAST.

SMU has in the distant past had a great history of developing decent HS swimmers into NCAA level scorers. I hope we have some in this group. I think it will be fun to watch.

Ryan Aroesty – 50 free – 20.95, 100 fly – 49.70, 200 fly – 1:49.93 (does not seem to do much in the summer)
Justin Baker – 50 LC free – 23.28, 100 LC free – 51.50 (no times from this summer)
Tyler Barfield – 52/1:50 back short course
Petar Bozhilov – Bulgaria – LC – 200 – 1:53, 400 – 3:54.9, 800 – 8:05.9 (does seem to have done anything in the last year)
Jack Easton – 50.4/1:49 back, 46.9/1:42 free ( did not have a good senior year, but had a pretty good summer this year in freestyle)
Colin Feehery – free – 47.33/1:41.1/4:31; breast – 57/2:05, IM – 1:53/4:00
Cooper Fitzgibbon – free 4:39/500, 16:01 1650, 4:36LC IM this summer
Daniel Forndal – NC State Transfer – Sprint Free – 20.33/44:19/1:36.88; 50.6 LC 100 free in 2015, so he did not blossom at NC State life I am sure that thought he would)
Connor Gamble – LC this summer 53.5/1:58 100/200 free
Riley Hill – 20.7/46.2 50/100 free, 50.02 back; seems to have no summer swimming, from San Angelo – Steve Boster should be proud
Cole Junker -49.2/1:48 SC Back, 1:52 IM; (nothing from this summer)
Cam Katzman – 46:/1:40.9 free; 50.2/1:48 back, 1:50.0 IM (has improved quite a bit in the last 2 years, seemed to have a solid summer)
Charlie Kaye – 20.67/45.06 free, 49.3 back(got a lot better in the last 1-2 years and had an OK summer)
Al Mainord – 55.8/2:04 breast, 1:54 IM
Kolos Nagy – 4:31 500 free, 4:00 400 IM, 1:52 200 fly
Jackson Skigen – 46.2/1:40.2 free, 50.8 back, 56.1/2:00 breast, 1:49.6, 50.6 fly, this summer 1:04:3 LC breast (he has had a good last year)
Wyatt Welch – 1:40.6 200 free, 1:51/4:00 IM, 2:04 breast, 1:52 fly
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Re: Greg Rhodenbaugh named men's swimming head coach

Postby PoconoPony » Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:41 pm

Thanks to PonySwim for detailing the times of this incoming frosh class. I agree completely with PS's assessments and questions. This is simply not a very strong class with no real top or outstanding kids. My fears are confirmed that Greg did not inherit enough to make any improvements over the level of the team performances the past 10 years. Greg will need to work miracles just to be competitive in some few events in the conference meet and there is little ostensible hope that he will have any NCAA qualifiers. Listed times are simply too far away from dropping enough to make any finals in the conference championships let alone the NCAAs even with great coaching. ( You simply cannot coach a kid doing a 20.6 in the 50 down into the 18s or a 48 back stroker into the 42s....etc.) My fear is this year's scholarship kids become an issue for Greg as they tie up a ship, appear too far away from being coached up to significantly higher levels and limit his recruiting numbers for next year without cutting. It would have been nice if Eddie had made his decision to retire in March and given Greg the chance to start his own recruiting with the use of this year's scholarships. Situation sets Greg back a full year. Good news is that he does have 17 kids and most will be on their own dime or recipients of other forms of assistance.
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