Third Season as Co-Head Coach (Seventh at LSU)
When Dave Geyer was promoted to co-head coach of the LSU men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs alongside Doug Shaffer in April 2010, he envisioned a pair of teams that could consistently compete among the top 15 in the nation and top five in the Southeastern Conference.
After a three-year run that has seen the men’s team break 10 individual and two relay records and the women’s team break 12 individual and three relay records, Geyer, entering his fourth season as head swimming coach, has put the men’s and women’s swimming teams on the map, both nationally and in the SEC. In addition to the success in the pool, Geyer and Shaffer’s program has excelled in the classroom, as witnessed by 22 student-athletes being named to the 2013 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll.
During the 2012-13 season, both programs enjoyed postseason success. The men’s program broke eight team records and the women’s team broke two team records.
The LSU men’s team sent seven swimmers and one diver based on four individual qualifiers and a pair of NCAA ‘A’ cuts in relays to the 2013 NCAA Championships. The eight competitors represented the largest LSU contingent with Geyer and Shaffer at the helm. Seniors Craig Hamilton and Andrei Tuomola, junior diver Sean McKinney and sophomore Frank Greeff qualified for the meet individually. The individual qualifiers were joined by senior Nick Kunkel, junior Michael Saco, sophomore Michael Young and freshman Gabe Rooker on all five relays.
At the NCAA Championships, all three individual qualifying swimmers scored points at the meet and guided LSU to a 26th place finish with 24 team points overall. The 26th place finish marked the second top-26 finish in the past three seasons.
Hamilton picked up LSU’s first NCAA First-Team All-American honor since 2007. Hamilton finished seventh in the 1650 freestyle with a season low swim of 14:49.12 and scored 12 team points. Over the course of his career at LSU, Hamilton swam the 10 fastest mile times in LSU history and leaves LSU with four program records, including a mile time of 14:45.94. The Edingburgh, Scotland native steadily improved in the event each year, beginning with a last place finish at NCAA’s his freshman year and ending with three straight top-16 finishes.
Tuomola arrived at LSU with his eyes set on capturing three individual long standing records and left the Tigers as a record holder in three individual events and two relay events. After a quartet of NCAA Honorable Mention All-American honors his freshman season, Tuomola earned a pair of individual All-American awards with top-16 finishes in the 50 free and the 100 breaststroke. In the process, Tuomola shattered LSU’s 25 year-old 50 free record with a time of 19.57, broke LSU’s 16 year-old 100 breast record with a time of 52.76 and tied LSU’s 25 year-old record in the 100 free with a time of 43.22.
Greeff enters his third year as the most decorated returning men’s swimmer after setting LSU’s 200 butterfly record and swimming on a pair of team record relays. The sophomore earned his first career NCAA Honorable Mention All-American honor and became LSU’s third All-American in the 200 fly with a time of 1:44.06, which placed him 12th.
On the women’s side, junior Torrey Bussey and freshman diver Cassie Weil qualified for the NCAA Championships individually. Bussey was joined on the 200 medley relay by junior Rainey White, sophomore Amber Cater and freshman Caley Oquist.
After returning from an offseason injury, Bussey qualified for her third consecutive national championships. The Cary, N.C., native placed 21st in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.45) at the NCAA Championships, which marked her highest finish in the event at the national meet.
Weil picked up a pair of NCAA Honorable Mention All-American honors on the three-meter and the platform and scored 11 team points at the NCAA Championships.
At the first SEC Championships since conference expansion, LSU’s men’s team finished in sixth place with a team total of 753.5 points. The women’s team came in seventh with a composite score of 494. The men’s team picked up NCAA ‘A’ cuts in the 400 medley relay (3:10.42) and the 800 free relay (6:25.67) and the women’s team picked up a NCAA ‘A’ cut in the 200 medley relay (1:37.80). The men’s team broke seven records at the meet (two of which were broken again at NCAA’s) and the women’s team broke one record. Rooker and Weil were both named to the SEC All-Freshman team.
The NCAA automatic relay teams consisted of Oqusit, Bussey, White and Carter in the 200 medley relay, Young, Rooker, Greef and Tuomola in the 400 medley relay and Greeff, Hamilton, sophomore Dillon Love and Kunke in the 800 free relay.
At SEC’s, Tuomola (100 breast) and junior diver Daniel Helm (one-meter springboard) captured a pair of bronze medals for LSU. Tuomola nailed a fifth place swim in the 50 free with a time of 19.76, which was his highest SEC finish in the event. He also took eighth in the 100 free. Hamilton took fourth in the mile with a time of 14:53.10 and finished sixth in the 500 free with a time 4:19.57.
Freshman Danielle Stirrat picked up LSU's 200 back record with an NCAA 'B' cut time of 1:55.21 and touched second in the 'C' final. The rookie also picked up LSU's third fastest all-time 200 free time of 1:47.12 in a third place finish in the 'C' final.
Bussey achieved LSU's second fastest ever 100 breast time of 1:00.30 and took second in the consolation final. Bussey finished sixth in the consolation final of the 200 IM with a time of 1:59.67.
Kunkel posted LSU's record in the 200 back (1:43.81) in the prelims, and proceeded to win the consolation final with a mark of 1:44.28. Greeff registered a seventh place swim in the 200 fly (1:44.58) and swam a strong 100 fly time of 47.16, which was the program's third best all-time mark. Greeff also swam LSU's third best all-time 200 free (1:36.48) in a leadoff split on the 800 free relay.
Young clocked his 200 back in 1:45.64 and moved up to fifth in the program's all-time record book during the prelims. Young barley missed his top time with a 1:45.65 in the 'B' final. Love registered LSU's sixth best all-time 200 back of 1:45.67, which was an NCAA 'B' cut, and finished third in the 'C' final.
Junior Ricardo Alvarado Jimenez notched a 200 breast of 1:58.03, moved up to fourth all-time in the team record books and finished fifth in the consolation final. Rooker ended his 200 breast prelim run with a time of 1:58.33 and finished seventh in the 'B' final (1:58.76). Rooker also moved up to third LSU's record book after a third place swim in the consolation final of the 100 breast and a time of 53.85.
Carter finished 15th in the 50 free with a time of 22.71 after swimming LSU’s fifth best all-time 50 free of 22.58 in the prelims. Senior Sara Haley, LSU’s record holder in the 200 fly, touched the wall first in the ‘C’ final of the 200 fly with a mark of 1:57.98.
The 2010-11 and 2011-12 LSU men's team finished the SEC Championships in the top-five in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 1998-99 and 1999-00 campaigns. Similarly, the 2010-11 and 2011-12 women’s team enjoyed the finest two-year run within the conference since the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons.
In 2011-12, seven women, including six underclassmen, and two men qualified for the national meet. The team collectively broke six records. Eight LSU swimmers and two newcomers competed at the 2012 US Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb.
In 2010-11 the LSU women’s team delivered its highest NCAA finish in 18 seasons, registering 14th at the 2011 NCAA Championships. Eight swimmers earned invitations to the national meet -- LSU’s highest qualifying contingent in more than 15 years -- and five athletes combined to claim 14 All-America honors.
In 2010-11, Jane Trepp became the first swimmer in program history to capture NCAA first-team All-America status in all three of her individual races in a single season with top-eight finishes in the 50 free, 100 fly and 100 breast. Amanda Kendall joined her teammate Trepp as a first-team All-American in the 100 fly, won the consolation final of the 100 free and also posted a top-16 finish in the 50 free.
Prior to the accomplishments of Trepp and Kendall at NCAA’s, the LSU women’s program had not seen an individual swimming All-American since 1997, and both boasted top times ranked in the top 10 nationally in their three best races by the end of the season.
Under Geyer’s guidance, Kendall exploded on the International scene after her performances at the 2011 ConocoPhillips US Nationals and the 2011 Pan American Games.
Kendall achieved three Pan Am Games records in the 4x100-meter free (3:40.66), 4x200-meter free (8:01.18) and 4x100-meter medley (4:01.00) relay. She also earned a gold medal in the 100 free with a lifetime best of 54.75. Her 100 free mark was the seventh fastest time in the 100 free by an American in the 2011 cycle.
Kendall qualified for the Pan Am Games after setting four lifetime bests and placing in four finals at the 2011 National Championships. She made the ‘A’ Final and finished seventh overall with a time of 55.08 in the 100m free and competed in the consolation finals of the 50m free (25.84), 100m butterfly (1:00.00) and 200m free (2:00.14).
On the men’s side, Hannes Heyl and Hamilton gave the Tigers a 26th-place finish at NCAA’s, their highest finish since 2005.
Heyl proved to be one of the top 100 butterfly performers in the country, racing to a new program record of 45.77 in the NCAA prelims before collecting his first career first-team All-America accolade with a seventh-place finish in the championship final. Hamilton took 15th and aquired his first career honorable mention All-America honor in the 1650 free.
In addition to their success at NCAA’s, the men’s and women’s teams burst onto the scene and turned some heads both nationally and in the conference with their stellar performances at the 2011 SEC Championships. The Lady Tigers and Tigers each placed fifth at SEC’s, marking the first time both teams posted top-five finishes at the conference championships in a single season since 2000.
However, the squads stood out way beyond the team standings with a plethora of individual and relay accolades. At the conclusion of the four-day swimming competition, LSU swimmers combined to win an SEC individual championship, collect 14 medals and shatter an SEC record and 12 program marks, while four athletes earned All-SEC recognition and two made the SEC All-Freshmen team.
No swimmer had a bigger impact than Trepp, who became the first Lady Tiger swimmer in 14 seasons to win an SEC title, and she did it in record-setting fashion, breaking the league mark with a blistering time of 58.94. The senior was just the ninth individual in U.S. Open history to reach the wall in under 59 seconds.
Kendall raced to a pair of bronze medals in the 100 free and 100 fly and played a major role in helping the 200 medley and 200 free relays to medal finishes. Her 22.87 split on the fly leg of the 200 medley relay coupled with Trepp’s 26.57 breaststroke split spearheaded the squad of Ruimerman, Trepp, Kendall and Goates to second-place and an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:36.91.
Haley was the bronze medal winner in the 200 fly with a then program-record 1:56.82 clocking. Haley went from 18th in the event as a freshman to third in the league in just one season under Geyer’s tutelage.
Bussey, an SEC All-Freshmen Team performer and NCAA Qualifier, advanced to a pair of championship finals at the conference meet and broke program records in the 200 breast and 200 IM. Bussey was the Lady Tigers’ highest NCAA finisher in the 200 IM since 1997 and first swimmer to race in the 200 breast at the national competition since 2003.
Heyl swam to a bronze medal in the 100 fly and reached the ‘A’ final of the 100 back with a personal best of 47.15, while Hamilton claimed his third program record at the conference meet with a 4:22.17 clocking in the 500 free.
Tuomola also took a step forward in his second season, qualifying for the championship final of the 50 free and 100 breast at SEC’s and recording a new personal best and program top-10 time in the 50 free.
Furthermore, Trepp was named LSU’s most decorated scholar-athlete as she was the school’s female nomination for the prestigious SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Postgraduate Scholarship, the highest academic honor bestowed by the conference each year. In addition to her phenomenal athletic accomplishments, the senior also sported a 3.8 cumulative grade point average in psychology.
Prior to his promotion to co-head coach, Geyer spent five seasons as an assistant coach at LSU where he worked with all phases of the programs. He was instrumental in helping numerous athletes shatter program records and earn All-America honors while also playing a vital role in the recruitment of top-level international student-athletes.
In 2008, Geyer trained former LSU standout and Olympian Miko Malberg prior to the Beijing Olympic Games where the former All-American went on to set an Estonian national record in the 50-meter freestyle (22.37) and place 25th overall.
He also traveled to Croatia for the 2008 European Short-Course Championships as a member of the Estonian National coaching staff where he guided Malberg to a pair of national records and helped an Estonian relay qualify for its first championship final at that competition.
Geyer graduated from Shippensburg with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1999 before receiving his master’s degree in counseling in 2001. He is married to the former Lyndi Croft of State College, Pa. The couple has two daughters, Maddilyn (8) and Kayda (4).
The Dave Geyer File
Born: March 15, 1977 in Pittsburgh, Pa.
High School: Elizabeth Forward High School; Pittsburgh, Pa.; 1995
College: Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania; B.S. in Psychology, 1999; M.S. in Counseling, 2001
Wife: Lyndi Geyer
Children: Maddilyn (8), Kayda (4)
Records and Achievements at LSU
LSU Women’s Highest NCAA Finish Since 1993
LSU Men’s Highest NCAA Finish Since 2005
LSU Women’s Highest SEC Finish Since 2002
LSU Men’s Highest SEC Finish Since 2000
6 NCAA First-Team All-Americans
16 NCAA Honorable Mention All-Americans
14 NCAA Individual Qualifiers
1 SEC Champion
1 SEC Record
6 All-SEC Performers
2 SEC All-Freshmen Performers
1 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Postgraduate Scholarship Finalist
16 SEC Medalists
1 FINA World Championships Finalist
27 LSU Records Broken
LSU Women’s Record for Dual-Meet Wins in a Season
22 SEC Academic Honor Roll Members