Mike Simpson Hired by Auburn to Complete Ryan Wochomurka’s Staff

auburn pool
Photo Courtesy: Shanna Lockwood / Auburn Athletics

Mike Simpson was announced Thursday as an assistant swimming coach for Auburn, rounding out the staff of new head coach Ryan Wochomurka.

Simpson was an assistant coach at South Carolina, where he spent three years. He built his career over 19 seasons at Gardner-Webb. He also worked Auburn summer swim camps for more than a decade.

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Photo Courtesy: South Carolina Athletics

“After spending 12 summers doing Auburn swim camps years ago and falling in love with Auburn, I cannot believe I get a chance to be a part of the Auburn program,” Simpson said in a team release. “Also, my wife (Kathi) swam for the Tigers her freshman year and loved it. We are incredibly excited to be a part of the Auburn family, and that’s what is so appealing about living on the Plains. It’s family. I cannot wait to get to Auburn and help Ryan and the incredible staff he has put together to impact the swim team and community.”

Simpson joined the South Carolina staff for the 2018-19 season, working for three seasons for McGee Moody. Moody stepped down in April, replaced by former Florida coach Jeff Poppell in an offseason of musical coaching chairs in the SEC. Simpson mentored four SEC champions and 17 swimmers who earned All-America honors in Columbia.

In nearly two decades at Gardner-Webb, Simpson turned the program into one of the top programs in the CSCAA. In 2016, he helped GWU land its first male NCAA qualifier, Nathan Lile. He led the women’s team from its inception in 1999 and the men’s team from its inaugural season of 2007-08.

“The entirety of our staff is excited to welcome Mike and Kathi officially into the Auburn swimming & diving family,” Wochomurka said. “Mike’s experience at all levels of the sport from the club level to SEC to head coaching experience will be of immense value not only to our student-athletes but to our staff and support staff as well.

“Mike has incredible swimming knowledge, but his ability to guide and shape young people into champions for life and provide a transformational Auburn experience is precisely what we needed in completing our coaching staff. I am personally very grateful for the opportunity and excited to work with Mike in building great Auburn men and women.”

Simpson graduated from Florida State in 1980 after swimming at the University of Houston, where he qualified for NCAAs as a sophomore. Before Gardner-Webb, he coached on the club circuit, leading two different clubs to runner-up finishes at the YMCA National Championships and mentoring five senior national finalists and three Olympic Trials qualifiers.

Mike Simpson joins Vlad Polyakov and Abbie Houck on Wochomurka’s staff.