- Martyn Wilby
Swimming & Diving Coaches
Martyn Wilby enters his ninth season as an associate head coach and 18th as a member of the Gators’ coaching staff in 2014-15.
“Martyn is an internationally-known coach whose success on the deck speaks for itself,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy said. “Europe has a vast swimming community, and he has one of the strongest reputations in that area of the world. His move to associate head coach has been a tremendous asset because of the increased level of contact that he has had with our student-athletes. His work ethic and passion for swimming are contagious both on and off the deck.”
The Darlington, England, native completed a stellar four-year collegiate swimming career at the University of Kentucky, where he lettered from 1982-86. While swimming for the Wildcats, he was also a member of the British National Team.
Wilby’s arrival at Florida in 1998 marked a reunion with head coach Gregg Troy, after having previously coached under him for seven years at The Bolles School in Jacksonville.
This past season in 2014, Wilby helped lead the Gator women to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships and a third-place mark at the SEC Championships. Florida reset 11 school records during the 2013-14 season, including Natalie Hinds in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle, Alicia Mathieu in the mile, Hilda Luthersdottir in the 100 and 200 breast, Ellese Zalewski in the 100 fly and Elizabeth Beisel in the 200 IM, as well as four relay standards. UF has now finished in the top-10 at the NCAA Championships in 14 consecutive seasons. In addition, Florida had six student-athletes earn 19 All-SEC accolades at the 2014 SEC Championships.
From 2011-13, UF’s women earned 99 All-America honors and had 12 student-athletes named as an All-SEC performer. The Gators placed third at the SEC Championships all three years. Individually, Elizabeth Beisel won two NCAA championships and became just the 11th student-athlete in Florida history to be named Capital One Academic All-America of the Year, earning the distinction for the women’s At-Large team in 2013. Also in 2013, Natalie Hinds was third Gator since 2005 to be named the SEC Female Freshman of the Year (Beisel, 2011, Caroline Burckle, 2005).
Wilby played an instrumental part in the Florida women’s 2010 National Championship which was the school’s first in 28 years. Wilby coached the women to two national championship performances and five school records. Under Wilby’s direction, the 2009-10 squad pulled out a close victory over second-place finisher Stanford on March 20. Florida scored 382 points, edging out the Cardinal (279.5) in the second-closest NCAA competition ever. Florida totaled 12 All-Americans and 36 All-America honors to capture the title. In addition, Wilby coached the women’s team to its first-ever 200-yard freestyle relay national title, as well as its most SEC titles (8) since 1995.
Just one year prior, the Gators won their 17th SEC Championship crown in school history in 2009. Gemma Spofforth defended her NCAA 200 back title and also won the individual championship in the 100 back for the second consecutive year. The following summer, Spofforth captured the spotlight of the world when she set the World Record in the women’s 100-meter backstroke (58.12) for Great Britain at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome, Italy. Wilby was on deck at the international swim meet to watch Spofforth capture her first World Championship. Later that summer, Wilby tutored Spofforth to two more gold medals and a silver medal at the 2009 European Championships. The 2008 and 2009 SEC Swimmer of the Year finished her career as a seven-time NCAA champion and 25-time All-American.
Wilby’s British background and European experience have proven to aid the Gators in international recruiting, proven by Spofforth and 2008-09 newcomer Jemma Lowe, who swept the 100 & 200-yard butterfly events at the 2009 SEC Championships. Lowe took down 25-yard-old Florida records in both events.
Most recently, Wilby was on deck twice last summer at the 2014 European Games and Commonwealth Games. Dan Wallace led UF at the Commonwealth Games as he captured gold in the 400-meter individual medley, while Sebastian Rousseau earned a trio of bronze medals. Also competing for UF were Corey Main and Sinead Russell. Wilby coached three student-athletes at the European Games, including Eduardo Solache-Gomez, Marcin Cieslak and Pawel Werner.
Wilby made the transition from swimming to coaching when he accepted a position as a swimming developer with the Stockton Council in England. In 1990, he returned to the United States and was named head coach at the Lakeside Hawks Swim Club in Louisville, Ky. Two years later, Wilby joined the coaching staff at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla., and was honored as the Florida Age Group Coach of the Year in 1994.
In addition to coaching at UF, Wilby has also had numerous successes while coaching internationally. In 1997, he coached the Malaysian National Team to its best-ever finish in the Southeast Asian Games. Wilby also served as head coach for Barbados’ swim team at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. In Sydney, he coached former Gator and current assistant swim coach Leah Martindale-Stancil to a 23rd-place finish in the 100-meter freestyle preliminary heats and a 25th-place tie in the 50-meter freestyle preliminary events.
The Martyn Wilby File
Hometown: Darlington, England
Education: B.S. in Business Education, University of Kentucky, 1988
- 1982-86 British National Swim Team member
- Coach, Wildcat Aquatics Club, Lexington, Ky., 1989-90
- Swimming Developer, Stockton Council, England, 1990
- Head Coach, Lakeside Hawks Swim Club, 1990-92
- Assistant Coach, The Bolles School, 1992-98
- 1994 Florida Age Group Coach of the Year
- Malaysian National Team Coach, 1997
- Barbados Olympic Team Head Coach, 2000
- On deck at 2009 FINA World Championships, 2009
- Assistant Coach, University of Florida, 1998-2006
- Associate Head Coach, University of Florida, 2006-present