Fernando Rodriguez Is First Hire to Women’s Staff at Georgia

Photo Courtesy: University of Georgia

Fernando Rodriguez Is First Hire to Women’s Staff at Georgia

Fernando Rodriguez was hired Thursday as the first member of the women’s swimming and diving staff at the University of Georgia for new coach Stefanie Williams Moreno.

Rodriguez has spent the last eight seasons at his alma mater, Kenyon College, serving as a senior assistant swimming coach for the Division III powerhouse. He received his master’s degree in Sports Management at Georgia from 2007-09, working as an assistant with the Athens Bulldog Swim Club’s senior and masters groups and as a graduate teaching assistant.

“Georgia has been a home for me and my family for as long as I can remember, and I am thrilled to return and join one of the finest traditions in swimming and diving history,” Rodriguez said in a team statement. “The women at Georgia have long set the standard of excellence in the sport and I cannot wait to join them in moving into the future. I have thoroughly enjoyed my conversations with Stefanie and am excited about her vision. Stefanie’s understanding of what it takes to be an elite athlete and her love of Georgia, together with her kindness and dedication to her team make her the perfect person to lead the Georgia women into this new era. I am eager to begin working with her, the rest of the staff, and the wonderful group of women that make up this amazing program.”

Rodriguez is the first hire for Williams Moreno, who in June took over for the retired Jack Bauerle. Like the head coach and new men’s head man Neil Versfeld, Rodriguez has ties to Athens, working with Bulldog Swim Club and at Bauerle’s swim camps.

“I am thrilled to welcome Fernando to our program as our assistant coach,” Williams Moreno said. “With his wealth of coaching experience, he is a perfect addition to our staff, and I am excited to share the pool deck. Through his work at Kenyon, he has helped mold a consistent culture of success both in and out of the water, producing numerous NCAA champions and postgraduate scholars. As a fellow Georgia graduate, Fernando knows what is expected here, and I have no doubt he will be a phenomenal teacher and role model for our young women, an excellent recruiter for our future student-athletes, and a tremendous ambassador for our university.”

The native of Brazil has helped Kenyon’s men’s team to the 2015 NCAA title and the women’s squad to the title in 2022, among five combined runner-up finishes. He has mentored 16 NCAA individual champions, 10 relay champs and 20 NCAA records.

Rodriguez graduated from Kenyon in 2004, a seven-time All-American and co-captain as a senior. He won four consecutive NCAA titles in his career in Ohio.

He began his coaching career as an assistant at Wabash College in 2004-05. After obtaining his master’s, he did stints at William & Mary from 2009-12, Colgate in 2012-13 and Richmond in 2013-14, leading the Spiders to an Atlantic 10 title.

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