ABSC's fearless Head Coach of over 40 years, Harvey Humphries, has been named among the 100 Greatest College coaches in NCAA history by the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association (CSCAA).
Coach Harvey, who retired from his position as Senior Associate Head Coach at UGA in 2019 (but still serves as program coordinator for UGA Swim & Dive in a part-time role), is joined on the list by his longtime partner and current Head Coach, Jack Bauerle.
Coach Harvey swam for UGA and Coach Bauerle in the late 70s/early 80s and immediately Joined the coaching staff upon graduating. Coach Harvey and Coach Jack worked together continuously from 1982-2019. Harvey has served as ABSC's head coach the whole way, and still does to this day!
Upon receiving this great honor, coach Harvey had the following to say:
"To me, it’s extremely humbling to be on that list. I think about all the incredible coaches I’ve coached with, and the amazing swimmers who have been in our program; both at ABSC and UGA. They’ve taught me so much that has helped me improve as a coach. I feel like this award belongs to all of them.”
Coach Harvey was coaching with the UGA staff for every one of the 6 national championships, and all of the SEC championships that UGA has won as a program. According to the UGA Swim & Dive website:
"[Coach Humphries oversaw] the Bulldogs' prolific distance and medley teams from 1982-2019. Humphries produced 23 NCAA champions and 60 SEC champions in the 500 freestyle, 1,650 freestyle, and 400 IM, while also serving as interim coach for the 2014 NCAA women's championship team. In 2011, he was recognized by CSCAA with the Richard Steadman Award, presented to a swimming or diving coach who has done the most to spread happiness in the sport."
Harvey has coached countless SEC and NCAA champions as well, and has even coached several Olympic Athletes who swam for him in his distance practice at UGA, including but not limited to:
Andrew Gemmel, Matias Koski, Brittany McLean, David McLellan, Sebastian Rouault, Wendy Trott, and most recently for this year's Paralympic Games, ABSC's own MeiMei White!
The legendary UGA Swimmer and former ABSC coach, Martin Grodzki, broke the NCAA record in the 1650 freestyle in 2012, during his time at UGA swimming for Harvey, and the record stood for 5 years! Grodzki wasn't a particularly highly recruited athlete out of high school, and wasn't even known for distance! It was Harvey who helped develop him to be a star at the collegiate level.
But despite all of that great success for all of his swimmers over the past 40 years, Coach Humphries is perhaps best known for his way of making each swimmer feel known and cared for every time they step on the pool deck. He greets each swimmer and coach with a smile every day, and makes it an absolute point of significance in his life to learn people's names and address them by name.
That philosophy - the desire to give each swimmer on his pool deck the utmost respect and the most positive experience possible regardless of whether they are an olympic athlete or have never swam in a meet before - is the philosphy that Coach Harvey has instilled across our ABSC program. He is the heartbeat of our team and his legacy of caring for his athletes will resonate louder than any award or recognition he could ever win.
Congrats to Coach Harvey! We are so proud and are so thankful for you.