Gator swimming great Leah Martindale-Stancil, a 2002 UF graduate, will return to her alma mater as an assistant coach, as announced by head coach Gregg Troy and the UF swimming and diving program Tuesday. Stancil spent the last two swimming seasons as an assistant coach at SEC foe South Carolina and will join the Gators in Gainesville for the start of the 2008-09 season in August.
“I am really excited about coming back to UF and being on the coaching staff,” Stancil said. “This is a great program and I am very proud of being able to return and give back to my alma mater, which played a significant role in my life.”
A 12-time NCAA All-American, two-time Olympian and a four-time national record holder for her native country, Barbados, Stancil will work with both the men’s and women’s teams at UF in the same capacity as departing assistant coach Hollie Bonewit-Cron. Bonewit-Cron will be relocating to Miami, Fla., with her husband, Chad Cron, after six seasons with the Gators.
In addition to her coaching duties, Stancil will take on the responsibilities of the Gator Swim Camp Director, while also coordinating all team travel.
“We are disappointed to be losing Hollie, but we’re also excited to welcome someone at Leah’s caliber,” Troy said. “Leah has a tremendous background in international competition, a big background in sports psychology, and she’s a Gator.”
Prior to her tenure at South Carolina, the Bridgetown, Barbados, native served one year as an assistant coach at the Savannah College of Art and Design where she coached the women's team to a second-place finish and the men's team to a third-place finish at the NAIA National Championship. Before taking the position at SCAD, she was a graduate assistant at Florida for two years, while also serving as an instructor at Swim America in Gainesville, Fla.
A member of the 2002 Florida Gators SEC Championship team, Stancil is additionally the Barbados national record holder, both long course and short course, in the 50 and 100 free events, in addition to being the 50 and 100 butterfly record holder. She set her records for the 50 and 100 free events at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and her butterfly records at the Commonwealth Games in 2002. She was additionally named the Barbados Female Sportsperson of the Year from 1995-97.
Stancil graduated from Florida in 2002 with a B.S. in Psychology. In August 2006, she completed her Masters of Science from UF. The former Leah Martindale married Michael Stancil in August 2006. The couple has a six-month-old son, Noah.