The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Georgia receives USA Swimming Collegiate Impact Award

66 days ago
Georgia Athletics
Photo: Getty Images

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Swimming announced today it will honor the University of Georgia as the winner of its 2020 USA Swimming Collegiate Impact Award, which honors the top-contributing school on the 2020 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team in Tokyo.

As part of the recognition, Josh Brooks, J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics at the University of Georgia, will be honored during the Team USA Collegiate Recognition Awards that will run in conjunction with the National Football Foundation's 64th Annual Awards celebration on Dec. 6, 2022, in Las Vegas.

"I am honored to accept the 2020 USA Swimming Impact Award, which recognizes the tremendous achievements of the Georgia Swimming and Diving programs," Brooks said. "The University of Georgia is a leader in training some of the very best athletes in the world. This award pays tribute to the storied tradition of our Swimming and Diving teams under the leadership of the legendary Jack Bauerle and current head coaches Stefanie Williams Moreno and Neil Versfeld."

At the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, 91 percent of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team competed collegiately. Georgia had seven *student-athletes representing Team USA in Tokyo - more than any other school - earning the Bulldogs the 2020 USA Swimming Collegiate Impact Award. Chase Kalisz highlighted the performances, combining with Bulldog teammate Jay Litherland for a 1-2 finish in the men's 400-meter IM on the opening night of the games, earning Team USA's first two medals in Tokyo.

In addition to Kalisz and Litherland, former and current Bulldogs continued to shine at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Alum Allison Schmitt earned silver in the women's 800-meter freestyle relay and bronze in the 400-meter freestyle, bringing her to 10 career medals, the most of any Georgia athlete and the fourth-most by an American female swimmer. Hali Flickinger took home a pair of bronze medals in the 400-meter IM and 200-meter butterfly and Olivia Smoliga won bronze in the 400-meter freestyle relay. Additionally, alums Nic Fink and Gunnar Bentz reached finals in their events, while current sophomore Duné Coetzee set an African record as part of the women's 800-meter freestyle relay team for South Africa.

Former Tom Cousins Swimming and Diving Head Coach Jack Bauerle participated in his sixth Olympic Games and fourth as a member of the United States coaching staff, serving as a men's assistant coach. Along with the exploits of his Georgia products, two of Bauerle's pro training group members medaled: Andrew Wilson won gold in the men's 400-meter medley relay and Natalie Hinds took bronze in the women's 400-meter freestyle relay.

USA Swimming joins seven other National Governing Bodies that will participate in this year's Team USA Collegiate Recognition Awards - a celebration that will honor sport-specific contributors (NGB Collegiate Impact Awards) and overall Team USA contributors (Team USA Collegiate Impact Awards) to the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

"The NCAA system is an incredibly important stepping-stone for so many swimmers' competitive success and for the success of American swimming on the world stage," said Tim Hinchey III, president and CEO of USA Swimming. "The exceptional quality of coaching and training support at college campuses and USA Swimming clubs is unmatched across the globe. Coach Jack Bauerle and his cadre of athletes were a medal-winning force in Tokyo."