Duncan Sherrard Joins Auburn Staff as New Assistant

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Duncan Sherrard, who has been an assistant coach at North Carolina for the past three seasons, has joined the Auburn Swimming & Diving staff, head coach Gary Taylor announced on Monday.

“I am extremely humbled and excited that Gary reached out to me and has given me the opportunity to join his staff at Auburn,” Sherrard said. “Auburn is a top-tier program and I’m excited to be a part of such a rich tradition and legacy. I can’t wait to get to The Plains to start coaching.”

Sherrard, the former head swimming coach at Florida Southern College and a multiple All-American swimmer at Florida, joined the North Carolina staff in 2015. During his three seasons at UNC, the Tar Heels established school records in all five men’s relays, four out of five women’s relays and both sprint freestyles on the women’s side.

“Duncan stands out as being very professional, very hard working and he wants to be really successful,” Taylor said. “He brings energy and passion to the sport and he’ll bring a great dynamic to my staff at Auburn.”

This past season, Sherrard coached Caroline Baldwin to an eighth-place finish in the 50 free and a 10th-place finish in the 100 free at the NCAA Championships. Baldwin, who set the ACC Conference record in the 50 free, was UNC’s first 50 free finalist in back-to-back seasons in 20 years as the UNC women also brought home a 10th-place finish in the 200 free relay.

“Duncan has been a winner at every level he’s ever been on,” Taylor said. “He understands grit, determination and hard work. He knows what it takes to become a winner and that’s what I want to be surrounded by.”

In the summer of 2017, Sherrard served as an assistant coach for the U.S. women’s swimming team which competed at the 2017 World University Games in Taoyuan City, Taiwan. Two Tar Heel swimmers competed in the competition. Caroline Baldwin won the gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle and Hellen Moffitt earned gold in the 100-meter butterfly. Baldwin and Moffitt both swam on the 400-meter medley relay which won a silver medal and Baldwin was a member of the U.S. team which won the bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle relay.

Aided by the excellent coaching efforts of Sherrard, the 2016-17 Tar Heel teams placed 41 swimmers and divers on the ACC Academic Honor Roll and five individuals on the All-ACC Academic Teams. The Tar Heel men set seven school records in short course events while the UNC women, aided by Caroline Baldwin who became the Tar Heels first 50 free finalist in 19 years, established 10 short course University records (including in four of five relays) and nine University long course records fell. Both Tar Heel squads earned College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America Team status in each semester of 2016-17 as well.

In his first season working with the Tar Heels, Sherrard helped lead UNC to 7-3 dual-meet records for both men and women as Carolina faced the most challenging dual-meet schedule in Tar Heel history, including non-conference opponents Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee and Texas. Both Carolina teams placed third in the ACC Championships. Twelve school records were broken during the course of the season and 30 UNC swimmers qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials. He was also the primary coach for senior Sam Lewis who raced to the ACC title in the 100-yard butterfly.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that Rich DeSelm and UNC swimming and diving gave me these past three years,” Sherrard said. “It was an exciting time and it was an honor to coach the wonderful student-athletes that were a part of the program.”

Sherrard, who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Florida in 2002 and a M.Ed. in educational leadership and higher education administration from Florida Atlantic in 2009, had been the head coach at Florida Southern in Lakeland since 2009 before becoming a Tar Heel. Simultaneously, he had served as the owner and head swim coach at Lakeland Area Swimming. Prior to going to FSC, he was an assistant swimming coach at Indian River State College in Ft. Pierce, Fla., from 2006-09.

Sherrard came to Chapel Hill after a distinguished tenure at Florida Southern where he was named the Sunshine State Conference Men’s Coach of the Year four times. He led the Moccasins to Sunshine State Conference titles each of his last three years there (2013-15). In both 2013 and 2014, Florida Southern finished as the NCAA Division II runner-up after grabbing third place in 2012. His women’s team also excelled as it finished in the Top 10 of the NCAA Division II Championships four years in a row from 2011-14 while the men were in the Top 10 five successive seasons (2011-15).

Thirty-three different Moccasin swimmers accounted for 278 All-America honors during his tenure, including nine NCAA champions (eight individual swimmers and four national champion relay teams). The team broke NCAA Division II records in two individual events and three relays. Sherrard also coached student-athletes to the 2012 Olympic Games and to the 2011 and 2013 FINA World Championships. FSC was also honored with a pair of Elite 89 winners at the 2012 women’s and 2013 men’s NCAA Division II Championships, given to the student-athletes competing at the meet with the highest grade point averages.

Sherrard’s tutelage at Indian River State was also key to the teams’ success there as they won the 2007 and 2008 women’s and men’s National Junior College Athletic Association crowns. Over two years, the school produced 76 national championship swimmers and established 29 national records.

Sherrard also served as head coach for Buchholz High School in Gainesville from 2004-06 and was an age group swim coach with Gator Swim Club from 2002-05.

Sherrard was a decorated collegiate swimmer at Florida where he swam from 1998-2002. He was a 14-time NCAA All-America his final three years and was named Southeastern Conference first-team selection each of those seasons. He captained the Gators as a senior in 2001-02.

Sherrard is married to Diane Tennison Sherrard, a six-time NCAA All-America swimmer at the University of Florida. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in sports management in 2003 and a Master of Science in sports management in 2004, both from UF. Diane is employed by the UNC Educational Foundation as development associate for scholarship and legacy gifts. The Sherrards have two children, Reagan, 11, and Nathan, nine. Sherrard is a life-long Chicago Cubs fan and an avid runner.

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