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Swimming & Diving Coaches

Anthony Nesty
Anthony Nesty

Associate Head Coach

One of the most decorated swimmers in Florida history, Anthony Nesty enters his eighth season as associate head coach and 16th as a member of the Gators’ coaching staff.

“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,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy says. “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, and his reputation for getting the most out of them speaks for itself.”

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 the world championship in the same event in 1991.

He concluded his swimming career at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, where he earned the bronze in the 100 fly. Not yet finished on the international scene, however, Nesty served as an assistant coach for Suriname at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and continued his Olympic tradition as the head coach for Suriname at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China as well as the 2012 London Olympics. 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, he was recognized as the Suriname flag bearer at the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Games.

Nesty returned to the international coaching realms during the summer of 2009, as he traveled to Rome, Italy, as a coach for the 2009 Cayman National Team to the 2009 FINA World Championships, where he tutored Gators Brett and Shaune Fraser. In the summer of 2010, Nesty coached the Cayman National Team at the 2010 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, his first time coaching for the United States.

Nesty also found success on the national level during his collegiate career at UF, capturing three consecutive NCAA crowns in the 100 fly from 1990-92.  He also won the 1990 NCAA title in the 200 fly and was a member of Florida’s 1991 NCAA champion 400 MR team. He held the school record 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.

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 in high school. After Nesty’s college career was finished, he served as one of Troy’s assistant coaches at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla., while also holding the head coaching position at Jacksonville’s Nease High School. 

Over the last 13 seasons, 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 Gator 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 NCAA meet, where Grant Johnson and Tobias Work combined to earn 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 helm of success under Nesty’s watch in 2009 when he brought home his first two individual national championships in the 200 free and 200 fly, setting an NCAA record in the 200 fly.  Additionally in 2009, Bradley Ally won his first NCAA title, swimming an NCAA-record performance in the 200-yard IM. Fraser became the first Gator to win the 200-yard fly since Nestydid so during his college tenure in 1990. With Nesty’s leadership, Fraser wrapped up his career in 2010 with seven All-America honors, giving him 27 All-America honors, the most for a single men’s swimmer or diver in school history. In all, Nesty guided 11 total Gators to 38 All-America performances to highlight the 2010 campaign.

During the 2011 season, Nesty coached Brett Fraser to Florida’s third-straight NCAA title in the 200 free, while also leading the men’s 800 free relay squad to a national title. Under Nesty, Florida finished fifth at the NCAA meet, marking the sixth time in the last seven years UF has finished in the top five, and the 12th-straight year UF has placed in the top 10 at the NCAAs.

Additionally, Nesty was on deck at the SEC Championships where protégé’s Conor Dwyer and Marcin Cieslak were named SEC Male Swimmer of the Year and SEC Male Freshman Swimmer of the Year, respectively. Behind Nesty’s coaching, the UF men won eight SEC titles and broke four SEC records.

Nesty’s success as a coach continued to be evident in the 2012-13, as the Gators brought home their first SEC Championship in 20 years and placed sixth at the NCAA Championships, extending the streak of consecutive top-10 national finishes to 13 seasons. The group tallied 41 All-America honors at the national meet, the most since the 2007 season. For the second time in three years, Florida’s men claimed victory in the 800 free relay. The group of Pawel Werner, Sebastien Rousseau, Marcin Cieslak and Dan Wallace blistered the field with a school record time of 6:13.27, winning by two seconds over eventual NCAA Champion Michigan. Cieslak led the team with seven All-America honors after finishing second in all three individual events (200 IM, 100 fly and 200 fly) and swam on four relays.

In the 2011-12 season, Marcin Cieslak earned three third place finishes at the NCAA Championships as well as winning the SEC Championships and being named SEC Male Swimmer of the Year. The UF men won five SEC titles at the 2012 SEC Championships and Cieslak was named the SEC Male Swimmer of the Year, third year in a row a Florida swimmer has earned the honor under Nesty’s tutelage.

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 and swam in the 1996, 2000, 2004 & 2008 Olympic Games for his home country of Venezuela.

Nesty also played an integral role in the development of Sarasota, Fla., native Eric Donnelly into a nine-time All-American from 1999-02. Donnelly, who swam for Nesty on the Swim Florida club team, also won individual SEC titles in the 200 and 400 IM and was awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in 2002. 

The Anthony Nesty File

  • Hometown: Paramaribo, Suriname
  • Education: B.A., 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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