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Anthony Nesty
Anthony Nesty

Associate Head Coach

One of the most decorated swimmers in Florida history, Anthony Nesty enters his ninth season as an associate head coach and 18th as a member of the Gators’ coaching staff.

Primarily working with the men’s team, Nesty has played a key role in guiding UF men to three-consecutive Southeastern Conference Championships and a fifth-place finish at the 2015 NCAA Championships. Prior to 2013, the Gators had not won a conference title in 20 years. In addition, UF’s SEC title in 2015 represented the program’s 36th overall. This past season’s fifth-place finish extended UF’s streak of top-10 national finishes to 15 seasons. Florida had 15 student-athletes total 40 All-America honors over the three-day meet.

This past season, Nesty coached Caeleb Dressel to UF’s first-ever 50-yard freestyle (18.67) NCAA Championship, which he achieved on day one of the NCAA meet. Dressel became the ninth Gator swimmer under Nesty and Head Coach Gregg Troy’s tutelage to win SEC Male Freshman of the Year. At the conference meet, Dressel won the 100-yard butterfly title in an outstanding time of 45.28 seconds. That mark not only ranked him second all-time in school history but it was the second-quickest in the U.S. 17-18 year old age group.

During the 2014-15 season, the Florida men set seven of a possible 18 school records.

In 2014, the Gators finished third at the NCAA meet which was the highest finish in program history since 1991.

During that season, the Florida men set 12 school records in 2014, including Brad deBorde in the 50 and 100-yard free, Dan Wallace in the 500 free, Arthur Frayler in the mile, Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and Marcin Cieslak in the 100 and 200 butterfly races. In addition, four of five relay teams set UF records as well. Cieslak won a pair of NCAA titles, becoming the first Gator since Nesty to bring home three consecutive national titles in the 100 butterfly (1990-92). Cieslak also captured UF’s eighth 200 IM national championship. Sebastien Rousseau was named the SEC Swimmer of the Year and earned the SEC Commissioner’s Trophy after he won a trio of SEC titles.

“Anthony is one of the most revered coaches in college swimming, and one of the few who is considered both a great athlete and a great coach,” Troy said. “He’s got a great work ethic and a tremendous ability to get results. His experience at the Olympics as an athlete is instrumental in his ability to relate to our current athletes. His reputation for getting the most out of them speaks for itself.”

During his collegiate career at UF, Nesty won his aforementioned three consecutive NCAA crowns in the 100 fly from 1990-92. In addition at the NCAA Championships, Nesty won the 200 fly in 1990 and he was a member of Florida’s 1991 NCAA champion 400 medley relay team. He held the school records for NCAA titles until 2006, when former Gator Ryan Lochte finished his illustrious career with seven such honors.

For his accomplishments as a Gator, Nesty was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in April 2002.

In addition to his success at the collegiate level, Nesty brings experience at the highest levels of international swimming to the Florida staff. At the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, he won the first-ever Olympic medal for his native country of Suriname when he edged seven-time medalist Matt Biondi of the United States by .01 to bring home the gold in the 100-meter fly. Nesty also won the gold medal in the 100 fly at the 1990 Goodwill Games and captured a world championship in the same event in 1991.

Nesty concluded his swimming career at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, where he earned the bronze in the 100 fly.

Nesty made his return to Gainesville on June 1, 1998, to assume duties on the pool deck. Prior to that, he served as a club level coach for three years with Swim Florida in Sarasota. 

Making the coaching stop at Florida has not only allowed Nesty to reach a career goal, but his post on the Gators’ deck has allowed him to be reunited with a close friend in Gator swimming head coach Gregg Troy, for whom Nesty swam for high school at The Bolles School in Jacksonville. Following Nesty’s illustrious collegiate career, he served as one of Troy’s assistants at Bolles, while also holding the head coaching position at Jacksonville’s Nease High School. 

Nesty began his international coaching career as an assistant coach for Suriname at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. He then continued his Olympic tradition as the head coach for Suriname at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Olympics in London. On the 20th anniversary of Nesty’s Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter fly, not only was Nesty honored as head coach of his country’s team, but he was recognized as the Suriname flag bearer at the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Games.

Outside of the Olympics, Nesty coached internationally during the summer of 2009, when he traveled to Rome as the coach for the 2009 Cayman National Team at the 2009 FINA World Championships. At the Championships, Nesty tutored then-current Gators Brett and Shaune Fraser. In the summer of 2010, Nesty coached the Cayman National Team at the2010 Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific Championships, the largest international meet of the year. In 2011, Nesty served on deck as an assistant coach for the U.S. men’s team at the World University Games, which was his first time coaching for the United States. In 2014, Nesty coached the Venezuelan team at the Pan Pacific games, where he tutored Olympian Andreina Pinto, who trains with the Gator swim club in Gainesville.

Over the last 18 seasons at UF, Nesty has shown the ability to transfer his penchant for fast times in the water to the Gator swimmers he has coached. In 2006-07, he helped Shaune Fraser, a 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympian from the Cayman Islands, develop into a top-five finisher in the 200 fly at the NCAA Championships in his first collegiate season. His work with the Gators’ middle-distance and distance freestylers during that campaign also came to fruition at the 2007 NCAA Championships, as he tutored Grant Johnson and Tobias Work to earn a combined five All-America honors and record four career-best times. 

Fraser returned to the NCAA Championships in 2008 to collect seven All-American honors and finally reached the highest collegiate achievement under Nesty in 2009, when he brought home his first two individual national championships in the 200 free and 200 fly (NCAA record). Fraser became the first Gator to win the 200-yard fly since Nestydid so in 1990. Fraser wrapped up his career in 2010 withseven All-America honors, giving him 27 accolades for his career, the most for a single men’s swimmer or diver in school history.

In 2015, Dressel earned seven All-American honors and became the first UF freshman to earn seven tributes since

Shaune Fraser in 2007. In 2014, Cieslak finished his career with 25 All-America honors and three NCAA Championships, the third-most All-America honors and the 10th most NCAA titles in school history.

At the 2000 NCAA Championships, Nesty saw his pupil, Duncan Sherrard, break his 10-year old school record, which he set at the 1990 SEC Championships, in the 200 fly. In 2006, he was on the pool deck when Ryan Lochte set the school records in the 100 and 200 fly at the SEC Championships. Another Nesty protégé, Ricardo Monasterio, collected four All-America honors during his career at UF and swam in the 1996, 2000, 2004 & 2008 Olympic Games for his home country of Venezuela.

In addition to all the All-America honors, national championships and record breaking times that Nesty has led current and former Gators to; the Paramaribo, Suriname native has led multiple swimmers to SEC Male Swimmer of the Year and SEC Male Freshman Swimmer of the Year honors.

The Anthony Nesty File

Hometown: Paramaribo, Suriname

Education: B.A. in Communications, University of Florida, 1994

Coaching Career:

  • Club Coach, Swim Florida, 1996-98
  • Assistant Men's Coach, University of Florida, 1998-99
  • Assistant Coach, University of Florida, 1999-2006
  • Assistant Coach, Suriname National Swim Team, 2004
  • Head Coach, Suriname Summer Olympic Team, 2008
  • Assistant Coach, Cayman Islands National Team, 2009
  • Assistant Coach, Cayman Islands National Team, 2010
  • Associate Head Coach, University of Florida, 2006-present
  • Assistant Coach, United States National Team, 2011 World University Games
  • Head Coach, Suriname Summer Olympic Team, 2012

Career Highlights:

  • Celebrated the 20th anniversary of his Olympic gold medal as Suriname’s flag bearer at the 2008 Olympic Games
  • Inducted into University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame, 2002
  • Olympic Bronze Medalist in 100-meter fly, 1992
  • Three-time NCAA Champion in 100-yard fly, 1990-92
  • World Champion in 100-meter fly, 1991
  • Member of NCAA champion 400-yard MR team, 1991
  • NCAA champion in 200-yard fly, 1990
  • Goodwill Games Gold Medalist in 100-meter fly, 1990
  • Olympic Gold Medalist in 100-meter fly, 1988
  • Assistant Coach, United States National Team, 2011 World University Games
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