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Mike Simpson

Mike  Simpson
Assistant Swimming Coach

Simpson begins his first year as an assistant coach at South Carolina heading into the 2018-19 season after spending the first 19 years of his collegiate coaching career as the head coach at Gardner-Webb University.

While building two programs from the ground up at GWU, Simpson coached 96 all-conference performers with the women’s and men’s programs climbing as high as 14th and 30th in the nation, respectively, during his tenure.

In his final year at Gardner-Webb, Simpson saw 26 swimmers qualify for the CSCAA National Invitational meet and had 16 of his student-athletes named all-conference in the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CSCAA) which included three conference champions. The year before (2016-17), both the men’s and women’s teams finished in the top-three at the conference meet while Connor Bos was later named CCSA Schloar-Athlete of the Year.

In 2015-16, Nathan Lile became the first GWU male swimmer to qualify for the NCAA Championships under the direction of Simpson. Lile would also earn the NCAA Elite 90 Award at the 2016 NCAA Championships for attaining the highest cumulative grade point average among student-athletes competing at NCAA’s.

Competing in the newly formed Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA), Simpson led Gardner-Webb to a third-place conference finish on both the men’s and women’s sides with three individual titles in 2007-08, the inaugural season of GWU’s men’s program.

Prior to the CCSA-era, Simpson guided the women’s program to four consecutive Northeast Conference Championships from 2003-07 and was also a four-time recipient of NEC Coach of the Year honors.

After beginning his coaching career on the club circuit and at the high school level, Simpson was named head coach of Gardner-Webb’s women’s swimming and diving team leading into its inaugural season in 1999. In the program’s first year of existence, Simpson led the Lady Bulldogs to a 14th-place finish at the NCAA Division II Championships, which was highlighted by a national championship from freshman Melissa Smith in the 1650 freestyle.

During his club coaching experience, Simpson led two different teams to second-place finishes at the YMCA National Championships as he coached nationally ranked programs in Ohio, Illinois and Florida. Simpson coached a Jolliet, Ill., club team that produced five senior national finalists and three Olympic trial qualifiers in addition to setting seven national records.

A 1980 graduate of Florida State University, Simpson transferred there from the University of Houston prior to his senior year. A swimmer at Houston, Simpson qualified for the NCAA Division I nationals his sophomore year.

Simpson and his wife, Kathi, have four children – Taylor, Saxon, Logan, and Garrett and one grandson, Mason Liam Jackson.

Mike Simpson