Swimming & Diving Coaches
Pete Knox, a 1978 Florida graduate, enters his fourth season as a member of the Florida coaching staff. A motivational expert with a background in exercise physiology and training technique, Knox works primarily with Gator sprinters while maintaining a high level of involvement with the entire team.
“Pete’s knowledge of exercise physiology and training technique add another dimension to our coaching staff’s ability to develop top-notch student-athletes,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy said. “He’s a committed coach with a track record of success on some of the biggest stages college swimming has to offer.”
Knox was on deck when current Florida senior sprinter Stephanie Napier broke Gator great Dara Torres’ school record in the 50-yard freestyle, a feat for the record books. Additionally, Knox aided two key 2008-09 Florida newcomers on the men’s side, Roberto Gomez and Raul Martinez, transition from junior college to NCAA-caliber sprinters. Both Gomez and Martinez swam at the 2009 NCAA Championship meet and garnered All-American status, respectively.
In a stellar year for the Florida sprinters, Knox saw his efforts come to fruition during the 2008-09 season when a total of four Florida records were shattered in sprint freestyle events, including the men’s 50, 100 and 200-yard freestyle races, all by current senior Shaune Fraser, while Napier improved upon her 50-yard free school record. Knox was also present when Florida’s 2009 SEC Champion women’s team shattered two SEC and Florida records in both the 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relays.
In his first season on the UF deck, Knox helped former Gator sprinter Daniel Penniman set career bests and move up the school’s all-time charts in both the 50 and 100 free. Heading into the 2006-07 campaign, Penniman ranked 10th on the 50 free ledger with a time of 19.97, and did not hold a spot in Florida’s all-time top-10 for the 100 free. At the 2007 NCAA Championships, he posted times of 19.85 in the 50 free and 43.33 in the 100 free to move up to fifth and sixth, respectively, in the UF annals. Knox also played a key role in helping the men’s 200 FR and 400 FR squads, as well as the women’s 400 FR quartet, reach the championship finals at the NCAA meet.
Before making his return to Gainesville, Knox spent 13 seasons as an assistant coach at Kentucky. In Lexington, Knox’s primary duties included overseeing the Wildcats’ sprinters and directing the team’s dry land program. He was responsible for monitoring the performance and nonverbal behaviors of the Kentucky swimmers as a basis for sustaining motivation and maintaining emotional balance.
The Norfolk, Va., native began his stint at Kentucky as a graduate assistant in 1988, and was promoted to assistant coach in 1993. When he left the Wildcats in 2005, Knox had coached finalists and semifinalists at the Olympic Trials and World University Games, one Southeastern Conference champion, one NCAA top-three butterflyer and a handful of athletes who finished in the top-16 in the 50 and 100 free at the NCAA Championships. While at UK, Knox also served as a karate instructor in the school’s Kinesiology and Health Promotions Department.
Prior to his term at Kentucky, Knox coached the Brandon (Fla.) High School men’s and women’s teams from 1980 to 1988. While at Brandon, his teams consistently placed in the top-10 of the Florida High School Championships and he helped develop two high school All-Americans. During his time in Brandon, Knox also served as an assistant coach with the Brandon Blue Wave USS team.
Knox graduated with honors from Florida in 1978, earning a bachelor of science in health education. He then moved on to United States Marine Corps Office Candidate School, from which he was honorably discharged in 1981. In 1999, he completed a master’s degree in exercise physiology from Kentucky.
Born on Dec. 22, 1953, Knox resides in Gainesville.
The Pete Knox File
Birthdate: Dec. 22, 1953
Hometown: Norfolk, Va.
Education: Bachelor’s in Health Education, University of Florida, 1978; Master’s in Exercise Physiology, University of Kentucky, 1999
- Head Men’s and Women’s Coach, Brandon (Fla.) High School, 1980-88
- Assistant Coach, Brandon Blue Wave, 1981-88
- Graduate Assistant, University of Kentucky, 1988-93
- Assistant Coach, University of Kentucky, 1993-2005
- Assistant Coach, University of Florida, 2006-present