COLUMBIA, S.C., July 20. THE University of South Carolina announced the hiring of Leah Martindale as an assistant for the Gamecocks on Thursday. Martindale is a 12-time NCAA All-American, a two-time Olympian and a three-time national record holder for her native country, Barbados. After a four-year collegiate career at the University of Florida, Martindale comes to the Gamecocks to serve her first full-time coaching position at a Division I school.
"I am very excited to get the opportunity to work in Division I and SEC swimming," Martindale said. "I hope to bring some expertise to the team, which I know has a lot of potential for the future."
Previously, Martindale served one year as an assistant coach at Savannah College of Art and Design. Prior to SCAD, she served as a graduate assistant at Florida for two years and a swim instructor at Swim America in Gainesville, Fla. While at SCAD, Martindale aided the women's team to a second-place finish and the men's team to a third-place finish in the NAIA National Championships.
A member of the 2002 Florida Gators SEC Championship team, Martindale is the Barbados national record holder in the 50 free, 100 free and 100 butterfly events. She set her records for the 50 and 100 free at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. She also earned the Barbados Female Sportsperson of the Year honor from 1995-97.
"We are extremely proud and excited to announce Leah's hiring," USC head coach Don Gibb said. "Her experience and background of being an international elite athlete will be helpful to our athletes. She will be able to help elevate our program to become more competitive nationally and internationally."