Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link
Swimming and Diving  . 

South Carolina Names Former All-American Kelly Fertel Assistant Coach

South Carolina swimming and diving head coach Jeff Poppell announced today the addition of Kelly Fertel as an assistant coach.

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina swimming and diving head coach Jeff Poppell announced today the addition of Kelly Fertel as an assistant coach. A three-time All-American at Florida, Fertel also swam professionally for a year and was an assistant coach with a club team in Gainesville while pursuing her master’s degree.
“I’m extremely excited to have Kelly join our staff at South Carolina,” Poppell said. “As a former All-American at Florida, she experienced success at the highest levels of both the SEC and NCAA and was a major factor in the Florida women’s team rise from the bottom half of the Southeastern Conference to three consecutive SEC Runner-Up finishes and a #1 National Dual Meet Ranking in 2019.
“As anyone that knows Kelly will tell you, she has a big personality with a lot of positive energy that I think will serve our team well. I see Kelly embracing the opportunity of being a relatable resource for both the men and women in our program as they seek to successfully navigate and balance the high achieving demands of today’s college student-athlete.”
Fertel qualified for NCAA Championships in each of her four seasons at Florida, grabbing her first All-America recognition as a junior in the 400 IM and adding that designation in the 200 and 400 IM as a senior in 2020. She is ranked fourth in the Florida record books in both the 200 and 400 IM and helped the Gators’ 4×200 free relay team to a bronze medal in the 2019 Phillips 66 National Championships. Internationally, she represented Team USA at the 2017 Maccabiah Games in Israel bringing home a total of seven medals (five gold and two silver).
Behind strong performances in the SEC and NCAA Championships, Fertel twice earned Florida Swimming and Diving’s Giovanni Linscheer Award, which is given annually to the female student-athlete who contributed most to the overall success of the team. As a freshman, she also earned the program’s Tracy Caulkins Award, which goes to the female freshman who exemplifies the competitive spirit of the award’s namesake and demonstrates dedication, tenacity and a great will to win. Fertel served as a team captain in her career and was the chair of the Florida Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Following her college career, Fertel spent the 2020-21 season competing for the Cali Condors in the International Swimming League (ISL) held in Budapest, Hungary. She then returned to Gainesville to follow up her bachelor’s degree in telecommunications with a pursuit of a master’s degree in health education and behavior at UF. While continuing her education, Fertel served as an assistant swimming coach for Swim America Gainesville.