The 2013-14 season marks the 16th year at the helm of the Virginia Tech men's and women's swimming and diving teams for head coach Ned Skinner. The men's squad has registered a 97-55-1 record during his tenure, while the women have posted a 121-45 mark. Skinner brings back a talented group that has continued to impress in their nine years competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Skinner is coming off a record-breaking 2012-13 season, as both squads notched program-best second-place finishes in the ACC, as well as sending its biggest roster on both sides to the NCAA Championships. The women had five champions, six All-ACC selections and senior Heather Savage concluded her career resetting her conference and school records in the 100 butterfly as she’s a two-time All-American.
On the men’s side, Tech finished the 2012 ACC Championships with 15 medals and broke 15 school records en route to the runner-up spot. The H2Okies sent a 10-man roster to the NCAAs as they brought in 18 All-America honors, including on All-American.
The 2011-12 season, was highlighted by best program finishes at the NCAA Championships, while the men took the podium for the first time placing second at the ACC Championships.
As a result from the men finishing second in the conference and compiling an overall dual record of 8-3 this season, Skinner garnered his first ACC honor as he was named the 2012 ACC Men’s Coach of the Year. The men finished the 2011-12 season with 13 All-ACC and six All-American performances.
Skinner had five athletes in the 2010-11 season qualify for the NCAA Championships, including one female swimmer and four divers. All-American Erika Hajnal, one of Tech’s lucrative swimmers, competed in the 1650 freestyle, the 400 IM and the 500 freestyle for the third straight year.
For the second year in a row, Skinner’s talented men’s squad placed fourth at the ACC Championships. Greg Mahon led the H2Okies earning a bronze med and third-team All-ACC, while also setting a new school record in the 200 IM. In addition to the men, last year’s women’s squad posted a fifth place finish in the ACCs for the second-straight year.
During the 2008-09 campaign, both the men's and women's teams continued to make their mark in Blacksburg, combining to set 30 new school-records and posting new times in each relay event. The men posted a 7-1 record while the women finished 6-1. Skinner and his staff sent six swimmers and one diver to the NCAA Championships, earning All-American Honorable Mentions in the 400 free relay, the 50 free, 1650 free and one- and three-meter diving events. He coached Erika Hajnal to become the Hokies' first All-American in distance events, while shattering four school records. She recently represented Hungary at the 25th Universidad World University Games in Serbia over the summer and earned two top-10 finishes.
The 2008-09 Hokies also excelled within the ACC, losing only to in-state rival, Virginia, over the course of the season. Tech took the top spot in the women's 50 and 100 free at championships, as Sara Smith conquered gold medals in both events. The Hokies also saw silver medals in five events (three of them relays) and finished third in six events.
In 2008, both teams set school records for wins in a season. On the men's side, Tech had two more than the previous record set in 1998 and 2007, with 12, while the women topped the 1998 record of 12, posting 14 wins in competition. In the ACC, the Hokie men closed out 2008 with a fifth-place finish and the women registered a fourth-place finish for the third straight season. The teams combined to break 14 individual and five relay school records, with the women setting two ACC records in the process. The Collegiate Swimming Coaches Association awarded the women with a No. 25 ranking at the end of the season. The men touched in at No. 28.
Skinner has coached Tech's three first-team All-Americans in former Hokie swimmer Jessica Botzum (2005, 2007, 2008), Sara Smith (2007) and Gus Calado (2006). The Worthington, Ohio, native coached the Hokies first two-time ACC Swimmer of the Year in Botzum. Several other swimmers at Tech have been named honorable mention All-Americans the past five seasons as well.
Throughout his tenure, Skinner has also coached a handful of ACC individual and relay champions in the school's five seasons in the conference. The list includes Botzum, Smith, Scott Beard and the two freestyle relay teams who swam to conference titles in 2007. Meanwhile, former Hokie swimmers Calado, Mason Walsh, Kaan Taylor, Scott Beard and Sara Smith have captured a title since Tech has competed in the ACC.
In Tech's inaugural campaign in the ACC, Skinner led the men's and women's teams to fifth and seventh place finishes, respectively. Botzum scored a fifth-place finish in that year's NCAA championships to become Tech's first true All-American.
The Hokies' first year in the BIG EAST, 2001, Skinner led the women to a second-place finish, while the men placed third. In 2003, the men placed second in the conference with the women touching in at fourth place. After his successful showing, Skinner was named the BIG EAST Men's Coach of the Year, while Hokie Kevin Furlong was named the Outstanding Men's Swimmer that same season. Both Tech squads finished third at the 2004 BIG EAST championships. Skinner was named Co-Coach of the Year for the men, while Calado garnered the Outstanding Men's Swimmer Award.
Each of the first two years as head coach of the Hokie swimming and diving squads, Skinner was named the Atlantic 10 Women's Coach of the Year, and led the women to two Atlantic 10 championships, and the men to their first conference title in 2000.
In the off-season, Skinner directs the Maroon & Orange Swim Camp, two one-week swim camps held at Virginia Tech. He founded the camp in 2001.
Skinner came to the Hokies after serving four years as the director of competitive swimming at the College of William & Mary. In his last season, he coached the Tribe women to a second place finish at the ECACs, while the men came in fourth out of 40 teams. Skinner was named ECAC Coach of the Year. The women's team finished in the top 12 at the ECAC event during each of Skinner's four seasons. During Skinner's tenure, both the men's and women's squads were named Academic All-America Teams four straight years.
Before his stint at William & Mary, Skinner was the head coach and aquatics director at Central Connecticut State University for four seasons.
A 1989 graduate of Louisiana State University, Skinner was captain of the 1988 squad that captured the SEC championship. He graduated from LSU with a bachelor of arts in advertising and a split minor in marketing and economics.
Skinner earned his master of science in athletic administration at Ohio University while serving the swim team as a graduate assistant and helping guide the women's team to the 1990 MAC title.
On the non-collegiate level, Skinner founded, directed and coached the Central Connecticut Aquatics team, a 75-member team of children ages 7 to 17. He also served as the head swim coach for the Kingsmill Swim Team in Williamsburg.
Skinner is married to the former Allison Cox, a lawyer and alumna of Virginia Tech, who currently works in the chambers of the United States District Judge David A. Faber. They have a 8-year-old daughter, Samantha, and an 3-year-old son, Jack. A native of Worthington, Ohio, Skinner received his doctorate in education curriculum and instruction from Virginia Tech in May of 2004.