HUNTINGTON, West Virginia, May 19. BILL Tramel, the former associate head coach of the University of Minnesota men's and women's teams, has accepted the head coaching position at Marshall, Swimming World has learned. Tramel fills the void left when former head coach Russell Hunt resigned after being arrested on drug charges in March.
Tramel completed his second season as associate head coach and eighth year overall as a member of the University of Minnesota men's swimming and diving coaching staff.
In his eight seasons with the Golden Gophers, Tramel has made his mark in Minneapolis. Since his arrival, the Minnesota men won conference titles in 2005 and 2007 while posting 11th place finishes at the NCAA Championships in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009 and a 10th place performance in 2007. In his only season coaching the women as well in 2011-12, the Gophers claimed the Big Ten title.
Tramel has coached at some of the nation's top programs and has won a combined 10 conference team championships. His teams have placed in the top 20 at the NCAA Championships 18 times.
Tramel has coached under some of the nation's most-respected and accomplished head coaches in three of the country's dominant conferences. Most recently he served under Big Ten legend and six-time Big Ten Coach of the Year Dennis Dale at Minnesota (2004-12). From 1995-2004, he served as the head assistant under Frank Comfort at North Carolina, the winningest coach in ACC history. During the 1994-95 season, he coached under 2008 U.S. Olympic head coach Jack Bauerle at Georgia.
Tramel coordinated all of Minnesota's recruiting efforts. He inked the top talent in the State of Minnesota including US Junior National Champion Michael Richards (2007-11) and Curt Carlson (2007-11) and has reached out of the country for some strong international talent including Karl Burdis (Ireland), Ray Betuzzi (Canada), Ivan Gutesa (Serbia), Hrvoje Capan (Croatia) and Nadav Kochavi (Israel). Richards and Carlson went on to accumulate 24 All-America awards and Richards shattered the Big Ten record in the 50 free with a time of 19.05.
In addition to his recruiting efforts, Tramel made his mark in the pool at Minnesota. He was the primary coach for some of the Golden Gophers' top performers over the last eight years. That list includes U.S. National champion and 14-time All-American David Plummer, multiple U.S. champion Justin Mortimer and Mike Holmes, who was a two-time finalist in the mile at the NCAA Championships and placed third at the Canadian Olympic Trials in 2008. Tramel also guided 2009 U.S. National Team member Alex Wold and U.S. Open Water national champion Michael Daup.
One of the top collegiate distance coaches in the country, Tramel has coached at least one swimmer invited to the NCAA Championships in the 1650 freestyle from 1998-2011. Overall, Tramel has coached more than 50 All-American selections in his career.
In 2004-05, Tramel helped the Gophers to a second consecutive Big Ten title. The primary coach of the distance and middle distance swimmers, he coached six All-Americans and four school record performances. He guided the outstanding season by Justin Mortimer, who finaled three times at NCAAs and finished third in the 500 freestyle. Under Tramel's tutelage, Plummer made a statement as as freshman, finishing second in the 100 backstroke at the Big Ten Championships and earning All-America laurels in both back events at the NCAA Championships.
In 2005-06, Tramel coached several swimmers to lifetime-best accomplishments. Plummer finaled twice at the NCAA Championships including a fifth-place finish in the 200 backstroke. Plummer shattered the school record in the event and posted the top individual finish by a Gopher in the event since 2000. Plummer also went on to finish fifth in the 100-meter back at the 2006 USA Summer Nationals and fifth in the 100, enough to earn a spot on Team USA's roster for the Pan Pacific Championships. Tramel also worked extensively with Zach Wood, who built on three appearances in the finals at the 2006 Big Ten Championships by finaling in the 200-meter butterfly at U.S. Summer Nationals. Tramel coached Travis Beckerle to an outstanding finish to his career as a Golden Gopher in 2006. Beckerle recorded a lifetime-best time in the 1650 free to earn All-America honors at the NCAA Championships. Following the season, the Academic All-American was awarded the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
Tramel's distance swimmer development was proven again with Michael Daup. A modest high school performer, Daup finished eighth in the 1650 free at the 2008 Big Ten Championships and went on to a spectacular summer. He won the USA Swimming 25K Open Water National Championship and placed fifth in the 5K race while qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 1500-meter free.
Prior to his hiring at Minnesota, the 21-year collegiate coaching veteran spent nine years at North Carolina as the head assistant coach for the Tar Heel men's and women's swimming teams.
At UNC, Tramel coached over 40 All-America honorees and over 35 NCAA individual qualifiers. He directly coached 15 Atlantic Coast Conference individual champions, four ACC Championship meet record holders and 12 athletes to UNC school record performances. Tramel assisted in the coaching of Jessica Perruquet, who won the 200-yard freestyle at the 2003 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. He also coached Sean Quinn, who placed fifth in the 200 breaststroke at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials.
While at UNC, the Tar Heels had nine top-20 finishes at the NCAA Championships and five top-15 team finishes. In 2001, the UNC women's team finished ninth overall for the first time since 1987. During Tramel's tenure, the Tar Heels won seven ACC Championships.
Before his stint at UNC, Tramel spent a year as an assistant coach at the University of Georgia. While an assistant at Georgia, the St. Louis, Mo., native worked alongside three-time U.S. Olympic coach Jack Bauerle. He helped lead the Bulldogs' women's team to a nine-spot improvement at the NCAA level — from 15th place in 1994 to sixth place in 1995 as well as to the NCAA women's championship in the 200-yard freestyle relay that year. Tramel also acted as recruiting coordinator and helped lay the foundation of three straight national champion Bulldog teams. Tramel's recruiting class won Georgia's first national title when they were seniors.
He also served for two years as the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the University of South Carolina's men's swimming program from 1992-94. During Tramel's stay, the Gamecocks moved from a 37th-place finish at the NCAA meet to 19th place.
Prior to his work at South Carolina, Tramel spent two years as an assistant coach for both the men's and women's swimming programs at the University of Missouri, his alma mater. He had been a member of the Tiger swimming team and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in consumer economics in 1992.
His early coaching duties were also as an assistant age group coach at the Sugar Creek Swim Club in St. Louis, Mo, in 1988. A year later, he was the assistant age group coach for the St. Louis Aquajets.