Virginia Bolsters Coaching Staff with Gary Taylor, Magaret Zagrobelny

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Virginia Bolsters Coaching Staff with Gary Taylor, Magaret Zagrobelny

Virginia this week added to its swimming and diving coaching staff with the hiring of Gary Taylor and Margaret Zagrobelny.

Taylor, a former head coach at Auburn, was hired Monday as associate head coach. Zagrobelny arrived Tuesday from Johns Hopkins and will work as an assistant coach.

Taylor spent three seasons at the helm of Auburn from 2018-21. In the fall of 2021, he relocated to Charlottesville to take over Cavalier Aquatics. He and Virginia head coach Todd DeSorbo go back to their days at NC State, spending six seasons on the same coaching staff.

“I have known Gary for over 10 years and worked alongside him for five years while we were both at NC State,” DeSorbo said in a university statement. “He’s a fantastic coach with great vision, but an even better person and friend. I’ve been fortunate to also work alongside him the past three years as he’s led our local Club Cavalier Aquatics to new heights and many successes. He’s coached athletes to the Olympics, World Championships, he’s coached NCAA champions and he’s also coached nine-and-ten-year-old age group swimmers. He knows how to push athletes to be there best and how to relate and make the sport fun at all levels. I’m excited to have him joining our staff and looking forward to our program continuing to advance with the addition of Gary.”

Taylor’s Tigers finished 12th at NCAAs in his first season, though that figure would decline through the years. Neither the men nor the women scored a point at NCAAs in 2021, precipitating a “mutual agreement to part ways.”

Taylor’s time at NC State included the start of that program’s rise. The men won three straight ACC titles and were three times in the top 10 at NCAAs. The women won a first ACC crown in nearly three decades in 2017, placing a program-best seventh at NCAAs. Taylor spent four years at Florida State working with the distance group, three years at Atlanta’s Dynamo Swim Club and six years at Twin Cities Swim Team in Minnesota, where he was part of the Golden Gophers’ 1998 Big Ten Championship.

“I am honored to have this coaching opportunity with UVA swimming and diving,” Taylor said. “Todd and his staff have done phenomenal work in setting a culture of high expectations and performances both in and out of the pool.  UVA swimming and diving has a long, illustrious history and during his time in Charlottesville, Coach DeSorbo has set a standard measured in NCAA and Olympic successes.  I am extremely excited to work alongside Todd again and look forward to a bright future.”

Zagrobelny has been at Johns Hopkins since 2018, promoted to associate head coach in 2022. She helped the Blue Jays qualify 22 individuals for the NCAA Division III Championships last year, the women gaining their fifth straight top-15 result. In seven seasons, she has led five total national champions and 352 All-Americans, helping the Blue Jays’ men’s team finish as the national runner-up in 2022 and fourth on two occasions, including in 2024.

A 2017 graduate of John Carroll, she worked for a season as an assistant at Susquehanna.

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Concerned Parent
Concerned Parent
4 days ago

Interesting pick given Gary Taylor’s history at Auburn…

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