Indiana Assistant Jonty Skinner Announces Retirement from Coaching

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Jonty Skinner Photo Courtesy: Brent Rutemiller

Jonty Skinner announced his retirement from coaching Tuesday after 45 years developing swimmers.

Skinner, 65, was in his first year as an associate head coach at Indiana University. The move was first reported by SwimSwam.

Skinner was hired last May to coach the Hoosiers’ sprinters, after a third stint at his alma mater, Alabama. He had served as a senior associated head coach for the Crimson Tide since 2012 but left after Dennis Pursley’s retirement at the end of the 2018-19 season. At Indiana, Skinner replaced Coley Stickels, who in turn replaced Pursley as the head coach at Alabama.

“Jonty Skinner is one of the most respected and accomplished sprint coaches in the world,” Indiana coach Ray Looze said upon Skinner’s hiring. “We are certainly humbled that Indiana could attract such a wise and successful coach. The fact that his athletes have 21 Olympic medals (17 gold) speaks for itself. One of his best attributes has been his ability to develop and teach. We will certainly rely on his experience as we continue to pursue national championships and Olympic success.”

Skinner had spent three stints in Tuscaloosa and worked extensively on the international scene. As a swimmer, he was a 19-time All-American at Alabama starting in 1974 and its first NCAA champion. The South African was a world-record holder in the 100-meter freestyle and was elected to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1986.

He coached at Alabama under legendary head man Don Gambril and succeeded him in 1990 as the men’s and women’s coach of the Crimson Tide, being named 1994 SEC Women’s Coach of the Year. Skinner also served as the head coach of San Jose Aquatics Club, winning a senior national team championship and five junior national titles.

In the mid-1990s, Skinner became the head coach of USA Swimming’s Resident National Team. He rose to fill the job of USA Swimming’s Director of Performance Science and Technology, then took a similar role with Great Britain’s national team from 2009-12 in the lead up to the London Olympics. He’s coached swimmers that have won 17 gold and 21 total Olympic medals. Skinner also founded a company, Athletic Intelligence Consulting, as a vehicle for his research into neuroscience’s effect on elite training and performance.

The Hoosiers wrapped up the dual meet season last week, the women carrying a 4-5 record and the men at 8-3. Indiana could not be reached for comment. The University hasn’t formally announced the change.

3 comments

  1. chaskroll

    Jonty has been a terrific contributor to swimming.
    Thank you sir for all you have accomplished both in the water, on deck, in the stands. Wishes for the best in the future and look forward to hopefully when our paths cross again! Cheers!

  2. avatar
    Bob Hopkins

    best of happiness in your well earned retirement; thanks for all your help the last 40 years with our son and grandson swim technique and training

  3. avatar
    JohnJ

    ‘Retired’? Really? 2 weeks before Big 10’s? What is the real story here?