GAINESVILLE, FL – University of Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley announced that UF head men’s swim coach Ron Ballatore’s contract has not been renewed.
“After thorough evaluation of the program, we decided that this difficult decision must be made in order to put the program in a position to be consistently among the nation’s best,” said Foley. “We appreciate very much Ron’s hard work and efforts during his time at Florida.”
Foley indicated that Ballatore will be offered a position within the organization.
Ballatore, who recently completed his third year at Florida, led the Gators to a fourth-place finish in the Southeastern Conference and 17th-place at the NCAA Championships in 1999. Florida finished fifth and fourth in the SEC, while finishing 17th and 26th at the NCAA Championships in his first two seasons.
“I am unhappy to have to finish my career here at Florida this way,” said Ballatore. “I have worked hard to get the program back on track. We did make some progress this year, but it takes longer than three years to build a program. The program is on the right track and I am sorry I will not be leading the way. I appreciate the fact Mr. Foley hired me to be the coach at Florida. But I am sorry he lost confidence in the job I was doing.”
Ballatore, who just finished his 32nd year of collegiate coaching, is a five-time Olympic coach. He was named the Florida coach in 1996. Prior to Florida, Ballatore was the head coach at both Brown and UCLA, leading the Bruins to the 1982 NCAA Championship.