When talking about Auburn swimming and diving, national championships and Olympians are the standard measurement in defining success.
Brett Hawke, is in his 10th season guiding Auburn's program in 2017-18, measures up.
Consider the following. He is a Two-Time Olympian, Three-Time Olympic Coach, Nine-Time NCAA Champion & National Championship Winning Coach.
Hawke, who swam at Auburn from 1996-2000 and was a part of two National Championship-winning teams, has guided Auburn's men and women to a top-10 finish ten times while also developing some of the fastest talent in the nation and the world.
Under Hawke's watch Auburn has won 11 NCAA individual championships, 64 individual SEC titles and has racked up 438 All-America honors. In addition, 14 Olympians have trained under him at Auburn.
During the most recent Olympic Games, the XXXI Olympiad in Rio in the summer of 2016, Hawke's program saw 10 swimmers participate on the world's biggest stage. As an assistant coach for the host nation, he oversaw the Brazilian sprinters, which included former Auburn national champion Marcelo Chierighini, who would swim in three finals.
Earlier in the year, Auburn's men's team would make a run at the 2016 SEC Championship but come up just shy of its fifth conference title under Hawke. The team captured six titles during the meet, with junior Michael Duderstadt sweeping the breaststroke events and classmate Joe Patching winning the 200 IM and the 200 backstroke.
Hawke guided Auburn to a ninth-place finish at the 2015 NCAA Men's Championshps, the 32nd top-10 finish in 41 appearances for Auburn. The team picked up a total of 28 All-America honors, including seven by Kyle Darmody. The women finished 18th at the national championships, picking up 19 All-America honors. At the 2015 SEC Championships, Auburn's men finished third and the women sixth.
Hawke led the Auburn men to a sixth-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Championships, including guiding the Tigers' 400 freestyle relay to a NCAA title. He also coached the Auburn women to another top-15 finish at the NCAA Championships and 12 All-America honors.
At the 2014 SEC Championships, Hawke coached Marcelo Chierighini to his third straight SEC title in the 100 freestyle along. The Tigers won three out of five relay titles at the conference meet and another individual championship in the 100 backstroke from Kyle Darmody.
During the 2013 season, Hawke led the Tigers to another top-five finish at the Southeastern Conference championships as the men pulled in a runner-up finish and the women came in fifth. He also coached up 10 All-Americans for the year including the NCAA champion in the 100 butterfly, Olivia Scott.
10 individual SEC titles were claimed during the 2012-13 season with four coming on the final day. Chierighini won both the 50 and 100 free titles, while Zane Grothe endured the 1,650 freestyle for the conference title, his second of his collegiate career.
In 2012, Hawke was named SEC Men's Coach of the Year for the first time, helped the Tigers win their 16th consecutive SEC title, holding off Florida for the championship once again. For just the second time ever, Auburn won all five men's relays at the SEC Championships, and the Tigers got three individual titles - two from Kyle Owens and one from Marcelo Chierighini - to clinch the victory. While Auburn's women finished fourth, the Tigers still won two relay titles and an individual championship as Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace won the 50 free for the second straight year. In addition, Vanderpool-Wallace lowered her own NCAA record in the 100 free, clocking a 46.61 in a relay leadoff split.
At the 2012 NCAA Championships, Hawke led the Auburn women to a tie for seventh place and also saw Vanderpool-Wallace defend her national title in the 100 freestyle. The Auburn men finished sixth at the national meet.
Having coached Vanderpool-Wallace for four seasons at Auburn, Hawke was selected to coach her as the Bahamas national team coach for the 2012 London Olympic Games. He helped lead Vanderpool-Wallace to the finals of the women's 50 freestyle, where she finished eighth, making her the first Bahamian to ever advance past the preliminary rounds at the Olympics.
Hawke's Tigers kept their men's SEC championship streak alive in 2011, capturing the program's 15th consecutive conference championship and 17th overall in winning a tight meet with the host Florida Gators. In the men's championship meet, Auburn athletes won five individual titles and two relays, while the Tiger women took two individual titles and three relays en route to a third-place finish. Under Hawke's guidance, junior Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace broke an NCAA and U.S. Open record in the 100 freestyle with a 46.81 at the SEC Championships; she would later win a national title in both that event and the 50 freestyle, becoming the first Auburn woman to capture an NCAA Championship in those events.
During his first full season as head coach, Hawke led the men's program to its 16th SEC title and its record 14th-straight conference championship in 2010. During the 2010 conference meet, Auburn swimmers recorded seven individual titles and five relay titles.
Under Hawke's direction as co-head coach in 2009, the Auburn men came away with their eighth national title, capturing the 2009 Men's Swimming and Diving NCAA Championship. During the three-day event, Auburn recorded 54 All-America honors and had one individual and four relay champions. The Tigers also set three US Open, three NCAA and 17 school records en route to the title.
Hawke returned to The Plains in the summer of 2006 as an assistant coach for the program. Hawke, a native of Sydney, Australia, was a 17-time All-American swimmer for Auburn from 1997 to 1999.
As a member of the coaching staff, Hawke works directly with the Auburn sprinters. Under his direction, Cesar Cielo provided one of the top highlights from the 2008 NCAA Championships as he became the fastest swimmer in the world with his 18.47 in the 50 free. What made the mark even more impressive was not that he did it once, but he reached the mark three times. He won the 50 free with a time of 18.52 after qualifying with an 18.79 in the preliminary. His time of 18.47 came as the 200 free relay leadoff.
In all, Auburn sprinters won six All-America honors with Cielo sweeping the 50 and 100 freestyle titles in 2008. He also became the first swimmer to break the 41-second barrier in the 100 free with a 40.92. For his efforts, Cielo was named the NCAA Swimmer of the Year for the second year in a row.
Hawke has also seen additional coaching success at the international level. He served as an assistant coach for the United States team at the 2011 World University Games, helping lead the Americans to 27 medals at the event.
During the 2009 World Championships, Hawke served as an assistant coach with the Brazilian national team and coached Cielo to two gold medals in the 50 and 100 freestyles. Cielo became the fastest swimmer in the world in the 100 free when he touched the wall in 46.91. Other Tiger sprinters medaling at the championships were Fred Bousquet (silver - 50 free, bronze - 100 free, 4x100 free relay) and Matt Targett (silver - 50 fly, bronze - 4x100 medley relay).
Hawke also had the opportunity to coach Cielo at the 2008 Olympic Games. Serving once again as an assistant coach with the Brazilian national team, Hawke mentored the South American star as he won a bronze in the 100m free and a gold in the 50m free with an Olympic record time of 21.30. Other Auburn sprinters trained by Hawke at the 2008 Olympics included Matt Targett, Fred Bousquet, Jakob Andkjaer and Alexei Puninski. Targett and Bousquet both brought home medals after their performance on relay teams.
Auburn sprinters overall were very impressive at the 2007 NCAAs with 13 swimmers advancing to finals. In the men's 50 free, Auburn took the top two spots with Cielo taking the title and Targett right behind him. Scott Goodrich and Bryan Lundquist also made the championship final. In the women's 50 free, it was Kara Denby leading the team in eighth.
In the 100 free, Cielo picked up another NCAA Championship with a time of 41.17 and Targett followed in sixth place. In the women's 100 free, it was Denby again leading the team in fourth place, followed by Emily Kukors in fifth.
During his time as a swimmer in Auburn, Hawke captured nine NCAA titles to go along with seven SEC crowns. In 1997, Hawke became part of Auburn history as he was a member of the first NCAA Championship team.
At the 1997 NCAA meet, Hawke won four titles, including one as part of the 200 medley relay team that set a new U.S. Open and NCAA record.
At the same meet, Hawke claimed Auburn's second ever 50m free title. He duplicated the relay performance the following year with the medley relay team that took the crown in a NCAA meet, NCAA and U.S. Open record time.
In 1999, Hawke helped lead the Tigers to their second NCAA team title en route to capturing four titles of his own at the meet. During his three years as a student-athlete, Hawke was also part of three SEC team championships.
A two-time Olympian, Hawke finished sixth in the 50m free in Athens. Hawke has three Commonwealth Games medals in his collection, including silver in the 50m free from 2002. Adding to his long list of international experience, in 2001 and 2003, Hawke was a World Championship finalist in the 50m free and at the 2002 Pan Pacific Championships, Hawke won bronze in the 50m free.
A five-time Australian champion, Hawke is the former Australian record holder in the 50m free with a time of 22.07 that he set at the 2004 Olympic Games in the semifinal round.
Hawke is married to the former Trudi James and the couple have four children: Kirra, Kobe and twins Yasmin and Lily. His wife, Trudi, was a member of the Auburn University soccer team from 1994-97. Hawke earned his bachelor's degree in psychology in the summer of 2010.
Associate Head Coach
Sergio Lopez Miro is in his second season at Auburn after joining the program prior to the 2016-17 season.
Lopez, who won a pair of conference titles while the head coach at West Virginia, had an immediate impact on Auburn’s program. In just a very short amount of time, his methodolgy could be seen in training sessions which in turn were reflected during competitions throughout the season as the men and women combined to win 10 dual meets and an invitational. His impact was also seen in recruiting, as Auburn signed some of the top talent both nationally and internationally for the upcoming season. Lopez, who has coached current NCAA Champions Ryan Murphy and Joseph Schooling, spent the two years prior to joining Auburn as the head high performance coach of the Singapore Swimming Association.
Murphy and Schooling were both 2016 Olympians in Rio. Murphy swept the backstroke events, setting an Olympic record in the 100, and won gold as part of the United States' 4x100 medley relay team. Schooling, from Singapore, also won gold, defeating Michael Phelps in the 100 butterfly in an Olympic record time and swam in the semifinals of the 100 freestyle.
Before moving to Singapore, Lopez was the head coach at the Bolles School in Florida. Beginning in 2007, Lopez guided Bolles to some of the best high school times in history. Bolles high school team won 27 straight boys State Championships and 24 straight girls State Championships in Florida's Class 1A. At one point his teams held five out of the 11 independent school National High School Records in yards. In 2012 Bolles set all three of the high school relay records in a single meet. Along with Murphy and Schooling, Caeleb Dressel, a 2016 United States Olympian and the 2016 NCAA champion in the 50 and 100 freestyles, and Bahamian and former Auburn star Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace were some of the standouts to train under him at Bolles.
In total, Lopez coach 12 swimmers that competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games - nine high school swimmers and three professional swimmers - resulting a gold medal and six national records broken. His charges represented the United States, Israel, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Singapore, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Trinidad & Tobago, the Netherlands, Antilles, Saint Lucia, Croatia, Columbia, Guatemala, Kenya and the Philippines at many international Senior and Junior competitions.
Lopez served as the head coach at West Virginia from 2004-07, where he was twice named the Big East Men's Coach of the Year (2006 & 2007). During his time in Morgantown the team won its first Big East Men's Team Championship (2007), and saw an improvement from 0 to 18 All-America honors, from 0 to 31 individual and relay conference champions (27 men, 4 women), a pair of Big East Men's Swimmers of the Year and 11 Big East Records.
From 2000-03 Lopez served as an assistant at Northwestern before being promoted to the associate head coach in 2003. While there he helped Northwestern produce seven All-Americans, eight Big Ten champions, a Big Ten Swimmer of the Year and Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Under his guidance, 43 of the school's 56 records were broken in a four-year period.
Lopez began his coaching career as a volunteer at Arizona from 1994-96. From 1996-97 he was the technical director at the Cantabric Swimming Foundation in Santander, Spain, and from 1997-00 he was the head coach at Hillenbrand Aquatics in Tucscon, Ariz.
A member of the Spanish national team from 1984-96, Lopez won a silver medal at the 1993 World Championships and has held European and U.S. Open records as well as 14 records in Spain. He won a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics in the 200 breaststroke for Spain and was also on the 1992 Olympic team after swimming collegiately at Indiana, where he earned nine All-America honors, and American, where he earned his degree in kinesiology in 1992.
Lopez and his wife, Sandy, have two children; Harley and Cobi.
Associate Women's Head Coach
Lauren Hancock is in her third year as the associate women’s head coach at Auburn after being hired in the summer of 2015. Along with her duties with the women’s team, she oversees Auburn’s middle distance group.
Hancock’s influence has been evident in her short time on The Plains. During the 2016-17 season, senior Ashley Neidigh became Auburn’s first SEC mile champion since 2008 and only the fifth all-time in the women’s program. Neidigh would also earn All-America honors in the mile at the NCAA Championships, establishing a program record in the 1,000 free in the process.
The 2016-17 season also saw Zoe Thatcher finish seventh in the mile and top-16 in both the 500 free (ninth) and 400 IM (15th) at SECs, qualifying for the NCAA Championships in all three events. On the men’s side, Alec Morris scored in the mile at the conference meet for the first time after working under her direction.
In total, Auburn’s women’s team improved 15 spots at the NCAA Championships, went from two All-American individuals to eight and saw the All-American honors rise from three to 13 from the 2016 to 2017 national championships.
Hancock again traveled the international competition circuit with Luis Martinez, coaching the Guatemalan at the 2017 World Championships where he set national records in both the 100- and 200-meter butterfly events.
In her first year on the Plains, Hancock had an immediate impact on the program. Eight current women’s team members advanced to the USA Swimming Olympic Trials, with Annie Lazor swimming in the finals of the 200 breaststroke. She also coached Martinez to an Olympic spot, accompanying him to Rio as part of the Guatemalan coaching designation.
Hancock joined the Auburn staff after serving as the head coach at Conejo Simi Swim Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., since 2010. During her tenure, she trained three U.S. Olympic Trials qualifiers, seven U.S. National qualifiers and 13 U.S. Junior Nationals qualifiers.
During her time with the club, Hancock oversaw 11 assistants and three different training sites. Conejo Simi Swim Club also earned a Silver Medal designation from USA Swimming in 2015 while the club was recognized with Bronze Medal designation in 2014.
Before taking over as head coach at Conejo Simi, Hancock served as the head age group coach from 2008-10, training multiple Junior Olympic qualifiers.
A four-year letterwinner at Duke, Hancock graduated in 2004 with a degree in sociology. She was a team captain for the Blue Devils during the 2003-04 season, setting school records in the 100 fly and 200 medley relay.
The Pendleton, S.C., native served as an assistant coach and the recruiting coordinator at Duke during the 2004-05 season. She obtained a master’s degree in sports psychology from Tennessee while training for the 2008 Olympic Trials.
Former Tiger swimming great, 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 15-time All-American Tyler McGill is currently in his third season as an assistant coach at his alma mater.
A 2010 Auburn graduate, McGill joined the Auburn staff prior to the 2013-14 season. McGill was also a gold medalist at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London by swimming in the preliminaries for the winning U.S. team in the 4x100-meter medley relay. He also placed sixth in the 100-meter butterfly at the same Olympics after earning the second-fastest time (51.32) at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. McGill is the Auburn record-holder in the 100 fly (long course and short course) with a time of 44.63 and he wrapped up his competition career last week at the U.S. Open with bronze medals in the 100 fly and 50 free.
"I'm excited to make the transition from being in the water every day to being on deck and helping out," McGill said. "This is a place that I know and love. To be able to represent Auburn as a coach now is an honor. It's certainly a challenge that I'm looking forward to, but I couldn't be happier to be representing my alma mater and a great university."
Throughout his four years as a swimmer for Auburn, McGill not only racked up the All-America honors, but he also was a two-time NCAA champion (400 FR, 400 MR) and an SEC champion (800 FR). His senior season alone accounted for five All-America honors (200 FR, 200 IM, 400 MR, 200 MR, 100 Fly), and he had five top-10 individual times on the Auburn squad during that season.
McGill had the fastest time on the team in the 100 (46.00) and 200 fly (1:44.04), as well as the 200 IM (1:44.40) in his final collegiate year. He was also the fifth-fastest Tiger swimmer in the 200 free (1:37.34) and 10th-best in the 100 back (48.96), all giving him the cut time needed to compete in the NCAA Championships.
The Illinois native earned his first trip to the FINA World Championships in 2009, where he finished seventh in the 100m fly (51.42) and also swam in the 50m fly. At the USA Nationals in that same year, McGill placed second in the 100m fly (51.06), which gave him the spot at Worlds.
McGill made a return trip to the World Championships in 2011, where he won a bronze medal in the 100m fly, his first individual medal in world competition.
"Tyler has always been an incredible athlete," Auburn head coach Brett Hawke said. "He's always had an uncanny ability to relate to the student-athletes, so I recognized that early in his career. Even from the moment he was a freshman here, he was inspiring the older athletes. I think he's going to be great in terms of transferring the information and skills across to the next generation of athletes. They'll buy in to what he's selling because he's such a believable athlete. He's just a good person to have around."
As a junior at Auburn, McGill earned six of his 15 All-America honors and was a member of the national champion 400 medley relay squad that finished in 3:01.39, a new NCAA record. He also finished runner-up in the 100 fly in 44.63, after swimming a school-record 44.67 in prelims.
At the SEC Championships in 2009, McGill was a member of the 800 free relay team that took home first place in a school-record time of 6:18.15. He also was runner-up in the 200 IM in an Auburn-record time of 1:43.39.
Back in high school, McGill attended Champaign Central and swam for Storm Aquatics under coach Will Barker, where he was a twelve-time All-American and the Swimmer of the Year for Illinois Swimming Inc. He was also a three-time state champion and holds the Central High School record in two events.
McGill is married to the former Julianne McLane, a former Auburn swimmer, and the couple has a daughter, Ameila.
Kirk Grand begins his second season as an assistant coach at Auburn in 2017. Previously the volunteer assistant coach since 2013, he was elevated to a full-time assistant coach during the summer of 2016.
The 2016-17 season had Grand’s stamp all over it. Zach Apple saw his stock rise during his sophomore season thanks in part to Grand, going from a NCAA participant as a freshman to a World Championships medalist as a sophomore. Apple also became the Auburn’s first American-born sprinter to break the 19-second mark in the 50 free, clocking an 18.93 at the NCAA Championships. Peter Holoda also saw his stock go up during the summer as he too medaled at the World Championships as part of Hungary’s 4x100 free relay team. As a program, Auburn went from a total of 11 individuals earning All-America honors to 18 in his first year.
Grand, who specialized in psychophysiology while earning his PhD from Auburn, assisted with the day-to-day functions of the Auburn swimming and diving program while the volunteer assistant. He presented evidence-based research to the team and lead mindfulness, self-talk, physiology and performance anxiety information sessions.
Grand remains a research associate for the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming at Indiana University and has also previously worked with the Longhorn Swim Camp and has been a USA Swimming Head Coach in Bloomington, Ind., designing training plans for athletes ranging from national level to learn to swim. From 2011-13 he was a head men’s high school swim coach and a swim technique instructor in Bloomington, Ind.
Grand was named the 2012 Indiana High School Athletic Association State High School Coach of the Year and the 2012 National High School Federation Sectional Coach of the Year.
Grand graduated Cum Laude from Ohio State University in 2010 after being a member of the Miami (Ohio) University swim team from 2006-08. He earned his Master’s in Exercise Physiology, Human Performance from Indiana University in 2013.
Grand has been published in multiple publications as well as the book, The Science of Swimming Faster. He has also presented at the American Swim Coaches Association World Clinic on the limits to superior performance.
2x Olympian and triple Gold Medal winner, former world record holder, 17x National Champion. Throughout the 1980s Rowdy Gaines was the fastest swimmer on the planet. His world records confirmed his place in swimming history. The Olympic Boycott of 1980 came during the peak of his career, when he set world records in the 100 and 200-meter freestyles and Swimming World Magazine voted him World Swimmer of the Year.