- Martyn Wilby
Swimming & Diving Coaches
Gator sixth-year associate head coach Martyn Wilby has served as a leading figure for the University of Florida swimming and diving program since 1998. Wilby was promoted to associate head coach in spring of 2006 following eight seasons as an assistant coach with the Gators.
“Martyn is an internationally-known coach whose success on the deck speaks for itself. Europe has a vast swimming community, and he has one of the strongest reputations in that area of the world,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy says. “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.
This past season, UF’s women finished sixth at the 2013 NCAA Championships, collecting 35 All-America honors, and took third at the SEC Championships. Elizabeth Beisel won the NCAA title in the 400 IM, giving her two NCAA championships in her career. Out of the pool, Beisel 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. The women’s team tallied 34 All-America honors. Natalie Hinds was named the SEC Female Freshman of the Year after her phenomenal performance at the conference meet.
In the 2011-12 campaign, the Gators finished third at the 2012 SEC Championships and 10th at the NCAA Championships under the leadership of Wilby. Elizabeth Beisel won her first individual national title when she took first in the 200 backstroke. Beisel also collected three SEC titles in the 200 back, 200 IM and 400 IM, she was named SEC Female Swimmer of the Year and won the Commissioner’s Trophy under the coaching of Wilby.
In the 2010-11 season, Wilby helped lead the women to four SEC titles, four school records, 38 All-America honors and 17 All-SEC selections. Under his tutelage, Elizabeth Beisel became the first Gator since Caroline Burckle in 2005 to win SEC Female Freshman Swimmer of the Year. The Gator women finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships for the 11th consecutive season.
Wilby played an instrumental part in the Florida women’s 2010 National Championship, 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. A total of 12 All-Americans coached by Wilby tallied 36 All-America performances on the Purdue campus at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center. Wilby also helped coach the women’s team to its first-ever 200-yard freestyle relay national title, as well as its most SEC titles (8) since 1995. The Gators have won at least eight dual meets every single season Wilby has coached in Gainesville.
His dedication to Florida and his athletes paid off once again in both 2008 and 2009 as he watched the lady Gators win their 17th SEC Championship crown in school history in 2009. Recently graduated Gemma Spofforth also defended her NCAA 200 back title and also won the individual championship in the 100 back both years. In summer 2009, Spofforth captured the spotlight of the world when she shattered the World Record in the women’s 100-meter backstroke (58.12), winning her first World Championship for Great Britain at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome, Italy. Wilby was on deck at the international swim meet, serving as a support and coaching system that helped Spofforth to her first World title. Traveling to the 2009 European Championships, Wilby was on hand again to support Spofforth as she won two more gold medals as well as silver. The SEC Swimmer of the Year the last two years under Wilby’s tutelage, Spofforth finished her career at Florida 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 SEC meet. Lowe set a new SEC record in the 200-yard fly and took down 25-yard-old Florida records in both fly events.
Additionally, the women recorded a seventh-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Championships, mentoring Gemma Spofforth to an NCAA title and school record in the 200 back. The national crown was the first individual title for a UF woman since 1996 and the first backstroke championship for a member of the Florida women’s team in 17 years.
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