Maxime Rooney, Erge Gezmis Announce Departure From the University of Florida

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

SEC Champion Maxime Rooney announced Monday he was leaving the University of Florida. Rooney swam three years for the Gators and won three SEC titles with the school in his career.

Rooney recently finished his junior season at Florida where he was fourth in the 100 fly at NCAAs, 18th in the 100 free, and 30th in the 200 fly. Rooney was also sixth in the 200 free as a freshman in 2017.

Rooney was the SEC Champion this year in the 100 fly in 2019 and was second in the 200 fly. He was also third in the 100 free this season.

If Rooney is expected to transfer to another school, he would be one of the biggest transfers on the market with NCAA scoring capabilities already for his senior year. Last year, Zach Apple left Auburn to go to Indiana ahead of his senior season.

His best times:

  • 50 Free: 19.43
  • 100 Free: 41.74
  • 200 Free: 1:32.18
  • 100 Fly: 44.99
  • 200 Fly: 1:40.87

He also swam a 48.27 in the 100 free LCM at US Nationals in July and was a 1:47.50 in the 200 free. He has Olympic relay potential in those two events next season.

Rooney announced via Twitter:

“I have decided to leave the University of Florida. While I am very grateful to the university for presenting me with academic and athletic opportunities to excel and grow, I am now looking to expand my opportunities in bold pursuit of my goals.

“I am extremely grateful to Coach Troy, Coach Nesty, Coach Jungbluth, Coach Delancey, and the entire support staff at Florida for the past three years. They have supported my fiercely and helped me get to the level where I am right now. Florida re-instilled in me a passion to pursue my personal excellence in all areas of my life.

“I am grateful for the relationships I have cultivated that have enabled me to develop into who I am today. I am grateful for encouraging teammates, classmates and church community that have reminded me: ‘I am not defined by what I achieve, but by whom I am loved.’

“As I move on to the next season of my life, I am continuously grateful for Florida and I am now eager to experience joy in a new chapter of my life.”

This would also be a big blow to the University of Florida, who are losing one of their biggest point scorers. The Gators have won seven straight SEC team titles and were sixth at NCAAs in 2019.

Rooney is not the only Florida swimmer to announce his departure. Erge Gezmis, a sophomore from Turkey, posted this on social media”

“Being a student-athlete at the University of Florida has been an honorary ride with lots of experience and memories for me. I am thankful that it helped me expand my horizon and grow as a person. Even though it’s saddening to say that I’m not going to be part of the Florida Swimming & Diving Team any more, I am excited about what the future holds for me.”

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Marissa Walsh
4 years ago

He holds Philippine citizenship. I wonder if he has plans on representing the country for Olympics 2020.???

Darrell Reed
4 years ago

Very peculiar as I would have thought he could just red-shirt.

Karin Knudson O'Connell

Hrs in the transfer portal. My guess is Cal since it’s close to home and he can train with the post-grad group there prior to trials. He’s an amazing young man no matter where he ends up.

4 years ago

Yep, most likely. He used to come back to the Bay Area over the summer and participate in local events. I always thought he made a mistake going to Florida vs Cal. But I can understand that, when he started college there were already big names in cal and his addition may not have made much difference. Not to mention that Caleb/Troy were part of Florida team in his freshman/sophomore year.

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