Gamecocks announce change to swimming and diving program
McGee Moody, the longest tenured head coach in University of South Carolina Gamecock swimming and diving history, will no longer lead the program, Athletics Directory Ray Tanner announced. The decision was a mutual agreement between Moody and the athletics department.
“I am appreciative of McGee’s many contributions to our swimming and diving program,” said Tanner. “McGee’s passion and commitment helped drive Gamecock swimming to some of our best NCAA finishes in school history. We wish McGee and his family all the best in his future endeavors.”
Moody leaves the Gamecock swim programs with 143 career men’s and women’s wins, the most of any Carolina coach in history, and a 53.7 winning percentage. Carolina had 74 All-Americans and 48 All-SEC performers in his 14 seasons as head coach. His program also produced three Olympians during his tenure – Akram Mahmoud and Julia Vincent in 2016 and Sharntelle McLean in 2008.
“The past year has been hard on everyone … athletes, coaches and administrators. We have poured everything into this past season,” said Moody. “Over the past couple of years, I have not been satisfied with our results at the SEC level. I believe that tempting to pour more of myself into this job will affect my family, my health and those are things I am not ready to sacrifice. Therefore, we believe now is the right time to step away and give someone else the honor to lead the program. I am thankful to Ray Tanner and Chance Miller for the opportunity to lead such a prestigious program, and I look forward to following their success in the future.”
Moody directed the men to a 66-60 overall record and a 77-63 mark on the women’s side. The men’s team won a team-best 10 meets under Moody in 2010-11 while the women claimed a high of nine wins in 2014-15. The Gamecock men finished in the Top 25 at the NCAA men’s championships four times – 15th in 2017, 17th in 2016 and 2018 and 19th in 2015.
The Gamecock women finished in the Top 25 at the NCAA women’s championships twice – 20th in 2018 and 21st in 2019. Moody coached the first-ever female swimming SEC Champion, Amanda Rutqvist in the 200 breaststroke, in 2011. Rutqvist was the first female swimming conference champion at South Carolina since 1986.
In the ultracompetitive Southeastern Conference, Moody led the men’s teams to four seventh-place finishes and the women’s team to a sixth-place finish in 2011. The SEC averaged seven men’s and six women’s teams in the NCAA Top 25 in each year of Moody’s tenure at Carolina.
For 11 consecutive semesters, both Gamecock men’s and women’s swimming and diving squads have earned CSCAA Scholar All-America honors, having achieved a team cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher each year.
Prior to coming to Carolina, Moody was the head swim coach at William & Mary for three seasons and was the Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year in 2007.
Before becoming a head coach, Moody spent four seasons as an assistant men’s swimming coach at the United States Naval Academy from 2001 to 2004. Moody got his coaching start at his alma mater, East Carolina University, where he was the top assistant swim coach for both men and women from 1996-2000.
While working in nearly every facet of the program at East Carolina, Moody coached over 25 varsity record holders.
A 1998 graduate of East Carolina, Moody swam on the Pirates’ varsity squad for four seasons, setting several freshman records and captaining the team his junior and senior years. Moody was also an Olympic Trials qualifier in the 200 freestyle in 1992.
A national search for a new swimming and diving head coach for the Gamecocks will begin immediately.