Both Marty Wilby and Anthony Nesty have been integral parts of both the Men's and Women's programs here at Florida. They have a tremendous work ethic and a fine understanding of the sport. They both share in all of the head coach functions and are directly related to every aspect of the program.
Both Marty and Anthony are fully qualified to be head coach’s themselves but that is what makes them the ideal candidate for this award- Head Coach abilities but an ego that allows them to assist in any way possible for the success of the program. Year after year, they’ve had opportunities to go elsewhere and be a head coach, but his commitment to the coaching profession and the program here remain unmatched.
Their knowledge of the sport and ability to work with the athletes is second to none. They are confident enough to make suggestions to the athlete but know how to support the head coach also. Beyond their swimming skills each has a very close relationship and interest in the athlete and their improvement as both students and individuals. Both take time out of their personal lives to invest in kids that need help being pushed academically.
Perhaps what separates Anthony and Marty is what they have done for me and our kids over the past two years. With my recent commitments [Troy was the United States men’s Olympic Team Coach], both Anthony and Marty went out of their way to take some responsibilities off my plate to better the program and keep it running smoothly.
Nomination from Cameron Martin
This season was my last as a Florida Gator. It has been an incredible journey. As I reflect on the past four years many things come to mind, but what stands out the most is the idea of Pride. I am proud to call Anthony Nesty my coach.
A week before I first arrived on the campus of the University of Florida I received an email from Coach Nesty. The subject was ‘Gator Pride’. Those two words will be with me forever. Before I stepped foot on campus Coach Nesty made it clear what was expected of us. Train and compete with passion and pride.
Anthony is more than a coach. He is a source of the very pride he demands from us. As a former Gator and Olympic champion Coach Nesty is the essence of what it means to be a Gator. We all strive to be more like him each day. The expectations he holds for us as well as the example he set as an athlete make him the effective leader that he is.
This season has been incredibly special for us all. It was not perfect, but we were certainly proud of our accomplishments. My teammates and I do not compete and train with pride simply because we are told to, but because we see that same passion and pride in our coaches. It is an honor swimming for Coach Nesty. Our team has come a long way. Swimmers have come and gone, but what remains are the leaders that understand what it takes and do things the right way. Coach Nesty does things the right way.
Coach Nesty has been an incredible inspiration to me personally. We competed in the same events for the same school. I am connected to him through an experience that many people don’t understand. I know I would not be the same athlete and more importantly the same person if it wasn’t for him. It is great to be a Florida Gator for many reasons and he is certainly one of them.
I hope Coach Nesty receives this award because he certainly deserves it in my eyes. He is a hero, a leader, an inspiration and a friend.
Nomination from Elizabeth Beisel
No matter who or what caliber athlete you are – whether Ryan Lochte or a walk-on – Coach Wilby will always go out of his way to get to know you and how you respond to certain coaching styles. Coach Wilby’s skills continue to lead the University of Florida to championships and Olympic medals.
His personal approach in his coaching not only improves the attitude and demeanor of athletes on deck, but it has also earned him respect from every swimmer he coaches. Coach Wilby comes in to practice with the most positive attitude ever, which we all know is difficult at 5:30 in the morning. He creates an atmosphere on deck where even if an athlete is having their worst practice ever, that athlete will still feel as if they belong to something – a team. If Coach Wilby weren’t a coach, he would be the team captain. He puts his athletes before him in every possible situation. Even if it is as simple as him switching seats with an athlete on a plane or waiting for the last person to warm down, he is always there. Knowing that someone cares about us as much as he does makes us want to represent not only the Gator name, but also the names of our coaches, especially Coach Wilby.
His ability to understand what certain athletes need all the way from sprint group to distance group is a true reflection of his versatility, intelligence, and approachability. If you were to ask any swimmer on the deck who they were most comfortable talking to, swimmer to coach and friend to friend, I am absolutely confident that almost all of us athletes would turn to him. He is always able to make light of difficult situations and is one of the most understanding men I have ever worked with. If Coach Troy is gone for a week or a month, nothing on deck changes and that is attributed to Coach Wilby. Practice runs as it normally would and Wilby can coach any group in the program, which makes him more valuable than many athletes realize. It is a privilege to work with Coach Wilby every day.
There is a reason why Coach Gregg Troy named Coach Wilby “Associate Head Coach” last fall. There is absolutely no other program in the country that has an assistant coaching staff that is as involved as the one at University of Florida. Coach Troy trusts Coach Wilby to take on a Head Coach role because that is what coaches and athletes do at Florida – we work together. Coach Wilby is the epitome of a team player and he is constantly working with four other amazing coaches on deck. He provides motivation and comfort to all of us at Florida, and each of us has a special and unique relationship with him. -Elizabeth Beisel