Stanford Assistant Scott Armstrong Hired as Johns Hopkins’ Head Coach

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Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

Johns Hopkins Director of Athletics Tom Calder announced today the appointment of Scott Armstrong as the head men’s and women’s swimming coach. Armstrong replaces George Kennedy, who announced his retirement in February after 31 seasons with the Blue Jays. He becomes just the fourth head coach of the Hopkins swimming program since the 1968-69 season.

“We have been fortunate to have George Kennedy, one of the all-time great Division III Men’s and Women’s Swimming Coaches, guiding our program for more than 30 years,” noted Calder. “In Scott Armstrong, we have not only one of George’s most accomplished former swimmers, but also one of the rising stars in the coaching community. His knowledge of Johns Hopkins and experience as a highly-successful assistant coach at Stanford University will serve him well as he leads our men’s and women’s swimming programs in pursuit of excellence in the classroom, the community and the pool.”

Armstrong returns to Baltimore after serving four years as the assistant men’s swimming coach at Stanford. He also had coaching stints at Johns Hopkins, the North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NABC) and USA Swimming. Armstrong is a 2003 graduate of the University and was inducted into the Johns Hopkins Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015. He will be the fourth active member of the Blue Jay coaching staff that is a graduate of Johns Hopkins, joining Bob Babb ‘77 (baseball), Jim Margraff ’82 (football) and Dave Pietramala ‘90 (men’s lacrosse).

“I’d like to thank Tom Calder, Mike Mattia and George Kennedy for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to pursue a dream,” said Armstrong. “I would also like to thank Ted Knapp, Earl Koberlein and the amazing athletes I have had the privilege to work with at Stanford. Hopkins is a special place and I can’t wait to build on the great tradition George has created. This is a real homecoming for me and I look forward to building strong connections between my fellow alumni and the current student-athletes.”

Armstrong joined the Stanford coaching staff in 2012 and worked daily with head coach Ted Knapp on all aspects of team operations. He was instrumental in compiling top-five recruiting classes in the nation in each of his years in Palo Alto. He worked primarily with the distance and IM groups and mentored standout student-athletes Maxwell Williamson (Pan American bronze medalist), Curtis Ogren (400 IM school record holder) and David Nolan. Nolan won three individual NCAA titles and in 2015 set the NCAA, US Open and American record in the 200 IM. Armstrong’s distance and IM group has impressed at the PAC-12 Championships, putting five swimmers in the championship final in each of the last two seasons and claiming two titles in the 1650 Free. His swimmers have also competed at the World University and Pan American Games.

“Scott has a tremendous future as a head coach and I know he couldn’t be happier than to return to his alma mater,” Knapp commented. “He is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about swimming and has shown great success in coaching college athletes. He is a great communicator and brings both tremendous energy and challenge to the pool deck everyday. This is a fantastic opportunity for both Scott and Johns Hopkins – I know the future is bright.”

In the storied history of the Hopkins men’s swimming program, Armstrong ranks among the all-time greats as he dominated the distance events. He led the Blue Jays to four top-five finishes at the NCAA Championships, including runner-up finishes in his junior and senior years. He earned All-America honors 18 times, which ranked 10th in school history when he graduated and is still tied for 13th more than 10 years after his career ended.

“I am thrilled for Scott, our swimmers, the Johns Hopkins Department of Athletics and the entire Johns Hopkins community,” Kennedy said. “Scott values the relationships and connections with his athletes and colleagues. It is a wonderful feeling to end my career and turn it over to one of our own. I wish Scott and the program all of the best for a fantastic tenure.”

Armstrong accumulated 10 top-three finishes in individual events at the NCAA Championships, including six runner-up finishes. He was also a member of five relay teams that finished second at NCAAs. When he graduated, he held school records in the 500 Free, 1000 Free and 1650 Free. Armstrong’s record in the 1000 and 1650 Free stood until 2014, while his record in the 500 Free stood until 2015.

Armstrong joined the Blue Jay coaching staff after his graduation and helped the Hopkins men to an ECAC Championship as well as a fifth-place finish at the 2004 NCAA Championship. The JHU women finished in sixth place at NCAAs, at the time it was the second highest finish in program history. Armstrong joined the staff at NABC and spent eight years coaching with Olympic coaches Murray Stephens, Bob Bowman and Paul Yetter. He assisted and implemented daily and seasonal plans for the Elite training groups, which included Olympians Michael Phelps and Katie Hoff. Armstrong was also coach of the USA National Junior Team from 2007 to 2011, before moving to Stanford.

Armstrong and his wife, Toni, are the parents of a son, Owen, and newborn daughter, Evelyn.

Johns Hopkins Athletics contributed this report.

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Robert Bauchwitz
7 years ago

In my experience as the father of a current JHU swimmer, the swim coaching has been great at Hopkins. With this hire it seems Hopkins is intent on continuing its commitment to providing an excellent program.

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