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Anthony Nesty to become first Black U.S. Olympic swimming head coach

Anthony Nesty

during the NCAA MenÕs Swimming & Diving Championships on Friday, March 25, 2022 at Coach Herb McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, GA / UAA Communications photo by Courtney Culbreath


Anthony Nesty will become the first Black head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team next year in Paris.

Nesty, the University of Florida head coach, was announced as the U.S. Olympic men’s head coach on Thursday night. Todd DeSorbo was named the Olympic women’s team head coach, adding to his role as University of Virginia head coach.

Nesty and DeSorbo also had those roles at the world championships this past July in Budapest where the U.S. won the most medals (38) for a 15th consecutive worlds. However, Australia outshined the U.S. in gold — 13 to 7 — the first nation to better the U.S. since 2001.

At the Tokyo Olympics, Nesty and DeSorbo were assistant coaches on the U.S. staff. Nesty became the second Black coach on a U.S. Olympic swim team staff after Chris Martin, who was an assistant at the 1992 Barcelona Games, according to USA Swimming.

MORE: Anthony Nesty experiences a gold medal rush

In a span of four months in 2021, Nesty became a coach of three individual Olympic gold medalists — Bobby Finke (whom Nesty recruited to and coached at Florida), Katie Ledecky (who after the Tokyo Games moved from Stanford to Gainesville) and Caeleb Dressel (whose coach in Gainesville, Gregg Troy, retired after Tokyo).

In 1988, Nesty won the Olympic 100m butterfly by one hundredth of a second in an upset over American Matt Biondi.

Nesty became the first Black swimmer to win Olympic gold and the first (and so far only) athlete from Suriname to win an Olympic medal in any sport.

DeSorbo, the Virginia head coach since 2017, has built the program into a national champion with stars including world champions Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh.

The U.S. Olympic swim team will be decided at June’s trials in Indianapolis. The top two in each individual event are likely to make the team, plus up to six per gender in the 100m and 200m freestyles for relays.