Caeleb Dressel Named SEC Male Athlete of the Year

caeleb dressel
Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Recent University of Florida graduate Caeleb Dressel was awarded the honor of the 2017-18 Roy F. Kramer Southeastern Conference Male Athlete of the Year, the league announced Friday. Dressel and the female winner, South Carolina women’s basketball athlete A’ja Wilson, were selected by a vote of the league’s athletics directors.

Dressel is the first UF male recipient since Tim Tebow won his second honor in 2009. The Gators had three female athletes win the honor in consecutive years, Bridget Sloan (2016), Lauren Haeger (2015) and Hannah Rogers (2014).

Dressel’s Senior Year:

It was another stellar season for the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. Dressel became a 10-time NCAA Champion, the most titles by a male swimmer. Here are highlights from his final collegiate season.

    • Dressel had one of the most accomplished NCAA Championships in history, earning four titles in four days (50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, 200 FR).
    • With those four titles, he passed Ryan Lochte (8) for the most National Championships all-time on the men’s side.
    • His time of 17.63 in the 50 free is an American, NCAA, US Open, UF and pool record and he is the first human to have ever broke 18 seconds in the event – he did so, twice.
    • He became the first man in history to sweep the 50 free and the 14th man to sweep any event during his four-year college career.
    • Became the first human to break 40 seconds in the 100 free, posting a time of 39.90 to earn his third title in the event.
    • Won his second title in the 100 fly, breaking the American, NCAA, US Open, UF and pool records with his mark of 42.80.
    • Dressel earned his first relay title in the 200 free relay, finishing with a school record time of 1:14.39.
      • This was the first 200 FR title in school history on the men’s side.
    • He earned seven All-America honors (50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, 200 FR, 400 FR, 200 MR, 400 MR), bringing the total to 28 over his four years as a Gator.
      • 28 All-America honors are the most that can be earned by any swimmer over the course of a career.
    • Earned CSCAA Swimmer of the Year after his performance.
    • Helped Florida to a fifth-place finish after scoring in all seven events he swam in.
    • AAU James E. Sullivan Semifinalist.
    • Laureus Breakout Athlete of the Year Finalist.
    • Google Cloud Academic All-American.
    • CSCAA Scholar All-America.
    • SEC Male Swimmer of the Meet/Commissioner’s Trophy
    • SEC Male Swimmer of the Year
    • School Records held:
    • 50 free – 17.63
    • 100 free – 39.90
    • 100 breast – 50.03
    • 100 fly – 42.80
    • 200 IM – 1:38.13
    • 200 FR (Dressel, Switkowski, Martinez-Scarpe, M. Szaranek) – 1:14.39
    • 400 FR (Baqlah, Switkowski, Dressel, M. Szaranek) – 2:45.73
    • 200 MR (Taylor, Bray, Switkowski, Dressel) – 1:22.33
    • 400 MR (B. Main, Dressel, Switkowski, Rooney) – 3:03.16

What They Said…

“Congratulations to Caeleb on another fantastic year. Caeleb is a phenomenal athlete. He has been key in our continued SEC/NCAA championship runs. He is a tremendous role model for the sport and has set the standard for a student-athlete. He is an outstanding ambassador of the University of Florida. This is a great honor and he is well deserving of it.” – Gator men’s swimming head coach Anthony Nesty.

“It is an honor to be nominated for, let alone win, such a prestigious award. I am grateful to the athletic directors for selecting me to be in the company of all the other outstanding student-athletes in the conference. It has been a privilege to be a part of Gator Nation and the SEC.” – Florida swimmer Caeleb Dressel.

“It takes a high level of discipline in life and a strong commitment to your sport to consistently perform at A’ja’s level on the court and achieve at Caeleb’s level in the pool,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “We are proud to honor these student-athletes who not only excelled in the SEC, but were also recognized as the best in their sport across the country. They are great examples of what it means to be a student-athlete in the Southeastern Conference.”

Other 2018 Nominees:

Each member school can nominate a male and a female for SEC Athlete of the Year. The league athletic directors vote for the winner. Here is a complete list of the 2017-18 nominees:

Male: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama (football), Kenzo Cotton, Arkansas (track & field), Casey Mize, Auburn (baseball), Roquan Smith, Georgia (football), Devin White, LSU (football), Robert Domanic, Ole Miss (track & field), Nuno Borges, Mississippi State (tennis), Drew Lock, Missouri (football), Akram Mahmoud, South Carolina (swimming & diving), Zhipeng Zeng, Tennessee (swimming & diving), Tyler Davis, Texas A&M (basketball), and Theo Humphrey, Vanderbilt (golf).

Female: Lauren Stephenson, Alabama (golf), Maria Fassi, Arkansas (golf), Taylor St. Jacques, Auburn (equestrian), Rhamat Alhassan, Florida (volleyball), Keturah Orji, Georgia (track & field), Olivia Gruver, Kentucky (track & field), Aleia Hobbs, LSU (track & field), Arianne Hartono, Ole Miss (tennis), Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State (basketball), Karissa Schweizer, Missouri (track & field), Erika Brown, Tennessee (swimming & diving), Sydney Pickrem, Texas A&M (swimming & diving), and Astra Sharma, Vanderbilt (tennis).

All-Time SEC Athletes of the Year:

The SEC Athletes of the Year Awards were first presented in 1976 for men and 1984 for women. The honor was renamed the Roy F. Kramer Athletes of the Year in 2004 to honor the former commissioner who served the conference from 1990-2002.

Roy F. Kramer Southeastern Conference Athlete of the Year Recipients
Year         Male Female
2018 Caeleb Dressel, Florida (swimming) A’ja Wilson, South Carolina (basketball)
2017 Brent Rooker, Mississippi State (baseball) Kendell Williams, Georgia (track & field)
2016 Jarrion Lawson, Arkansas (track & field) Bridget Sloan, Florida (gymnastics)
2015 Andrew Benintendi, Arkansas (baseball) Lauren Haeger, Florida (softball)
2014 A.J. Reed, Kentucky (baseball) Hannah Rogers, Florida (softball)
2013 Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M (football) Allison Schmitt, Georgia (swimming)
2012 Anthony Davis, Kentucky (basketball) Brooke Pancake, Alabama (golf)
2011 John-Patrick Smith, Tennessee (tennis) Kayla Hoffman, Alabama (gymnastics)
2010 Mark Ingram, Alabama (football) Susan Jackson, LSU (gymnastics)
2009 Tim Tebow, Florida (football) Courtney Kupets, Georgia (gymnastics)
2008 Tim Tebow, Florida (football) Candace Parker, Tennessee (basketball)
2007 David Price, Vanderbilt (baseball) Monica Abbott, Tennessee (softball)
2006 Xavier Carter, LSU (track & field) Seimone Augustus, LSU (basketball)
2005 Ryan Lochte, Florida (swimming) Kirsty Coventry, Auburn (swimming)
2004 Alistair Cragg, Arkansas (cross country/track) Jeana Rice, Alabama (gymnastics)
2003 Alistair Cragg, Arkansas (cross country/track) LaToya Thomas, Mississippi State (basketball)
2002 Walter Lewis, LSU (track & field) Andree’ Pickens, Alabama (gymnastics)
2001 Matias Boeker, Georgia (tennis) Amy Yoder Begley, Arkansas (cross country/track)
2000 Kip Bouknight , South Carolina (baseball) Kristy Kowal, Georgia (swimming)
1999 Tim Couch, Kentucky (football) Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee (basketball)
1998 Peyton Manning, Tennessee (football) Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee (basketball)
1997 Danny Wuerffel, Florida (football) Trinity Johnson, South Carolina (softball)
1996 Danny Wuerffel, Florida (football) Saudia Roundtree, Georgia (basketball)
1995 Todd Helton, Tennessee (baseball) Jenny Hansen, Kentucky (gymnastics)
1994 Corliss Williamson, Arkansas (basketball) Nicole Haislett, Florida (swimming)
1993 Jamal Mashburn, Kentucky (basketball) Nicole Haislett, Florida (swimming)
1992 Shaquille O’Neal, LSU (basketball) Vicki Goetze, Georgia (golf)
1991 Shaquille O’Neal, LSU (basketball) Daedra Charles, Tennessee (basketball)
1990 Alec Kessler, Georgia (basketball) Dee Foster, Alabama (gymnastics)
1989 Derrick Thomas, Alabama (football) Bridgette Gordon, Tennessee (basketball)
1988 Will Perdue, Vanderbilt (basketball) Dara Torres, Florida (swimming)
1987 Cornelius Bennett, Alabama (football) Lillie Leatherwood King, Alabama (track & field)
1986 Bo Jackson, Auburn (football) Jennifer Gillom, Ole Miss (basketball)
1985 Will Clark, Mississippi State (baseball) Penney Hauschild, Alabama (gymnastics)
1984 Terry Hoage, Georgia (football) Tracy Caulkins, Florida (swimming)
1983 Herschel Walker, Georgia (football/track and field)
1982 Buck Belue, Georgia (football/baseball)
1981 Rowdy Gaines, Auburn (swimming)
1980 Kyle Macy, Kentucky (basketball)
1979 Reggie King, Alabama (basketball)
1978 Jack Givens, Kentucky (basketball)
1977 Larry Seivers, Tennessee (football)
1976 Harvey Glance, Auburn (track & field)

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with the University of Florida Athletics. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Thomas A. Small
5 years ago

Congratulations Caleb great job

5 years ago

Does anyone know why Caeleb needed braces on his teeth at this relatively late stage for that, as shown in the photo?

Stefanie Ramsay Werts
5 years ago

Such an honor for my son to meet and get a photo with him Mel Zajac! Caleb is not only an amazing athlete, but he is one of the nicest and most respectful people on this planet. Well deserved award – Congrats!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x