Eddie Sinnott Steps Down as SMU Head Men’s Swimming Coach After 30 Years

Photo Courtesy: SMU Athletics

After 30 years at the helm of the SMU men’s swimming program, Eddie Sinnott and SMU Athletics announced that he will be stepping away from his current position on the Hilltop and transitioning into a new role over the summer.

“After 30 years of serving as head coach at my alma mater, I felt it was time for a change,” said Sinnott. “This transition will allow me to be an ambassador for SMU swimming, helping build community support and raise funds for the program I love so dearly. I’m also excited to be a resource for the next leader of our program and share the institutional knowledge I’ve been able to gather in these last three-plus decades.”

The 16-time conference Coach of the Year has led the Mustangs to 16 league crowns in the past 23 seasons. Under Sinnott, SMU recorded 11 NCAA top-15 finishes, 80 individual All-America honors and 59 relay honors and 288 conference championships.

In 2019, Sinnott was selected by his peers for the 2019 National Collegiate Scholastic Trophy. The trophy is presented annually by both the CSCAA and the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) to the coach who, in the estimation of the recipient’s peers, has made the greatest contribution to swimming as a competitive sport, and as a healthful, recreational activity in the province of undergraduate and scholastic education.

An accomplished coach on the international level, Sinnott coached 11 student-athletes since 1992 who have competed in seven different Olympic Games. In 1996, former Mustang great Ryan Berube won a gold medal as a team member of the U.S.A. 4×200 free relay team. In the summer of 2000, Lars Frolander became the fourth Mustang to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games, taking first in the 100 butterfly in Sydney, Australia. Under Sinnott, both Berube and Frolander were named NCAA Swimmer of the Year within two years of each other (Berube-1996, Frolander-1998).

Sinnott also served United States Swimming in various capacities. He was the team leader and the men’s head coach of the U.S. squad at the World University Games in 1993, and a head coach and assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic Festival team in 1987 and 1993, respectively. Sinnott also served as the head coach of the U.S. National Team on its European Tour in 1987. At the 2008 Olympics, Sinnott was the U.S. Olympic Team assistant manager. In addition to coaching for the United States, Sinnott served on the Olympic International Organizing Committee from 1984-92. He was the head coach for Haiti at the 1996 Olympic Games. He also served as the assistant coach for Colombia, Denmark and South Africa at the World Short Course Championships.

Sinnott’s impact on the sport, however, extends well beyond his conference titles, Olympic Gold Medalists, and All-Americans. Sinnott, along with women’s head coach Steve Collins, was instrumental in fundraising for the new Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr-McMillion Natatorium. Beyond the college teams, Sinnott helped teach in the SMU swim lesson program for most of his 40 years on campus, and is a leader in the Dallas swimming community.

A four-year letterwinner at SMU from 1973-76, Sinnott was the SWC champion in the 400 IM in 1973 and earned All-America honors in both 1973 and 1974. Born in Greenwich, Conn., Sinnott and his wife, Sioux, have two daughters K.C. and Silver Ann.

“SMU Swimming will forever be indebted to Eddie Sinnott,” said Director of Athletics Rick Hart. “He continued and built upon our tradition of success by winning championships and shaping student-athletes both in and out of the pool. He has significantly impacted our university and community during his time on the Hilltop, and his lifelong dedication to the sport has shaped the lives of hundreds of SMU swimmers.”

Keith Dawley will serve as interim head coach as SMU begins a national search for a new leader for the program.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with SMU Swimming and Diving. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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Jimmy Tierney
3 years ago

Congrats Ed! You are a class act, and I have been blessed to share the pool deck with you over the years. Thanks for all of your contributions to our sport and our profession! You have left such a positive mark on swimming in this country. Enjoy your next stage of life.

Michael Fitzmaurice
3 years ago

Ed this is Mike Fitzmaurice. I knew you when you were about 10 years old as you came from the huge Sinnott family contingent from Greenwich Conn. Knew your dad and mom well. You should be incredibly proud of what you accomplished in you Swimming and Coaching career. I know your whole family is as well. Great!!!