Alabama Aquatic Center and Don Gambril Olympic Pool
One of the nation's "fastest" pools, the Alabama Aquatic Center has, during the past 30 years, hosted more than 200 major competitions including seven Southeastern Conference Swimming & Diving Championships. The Crimson Tide has built an impressive reputation for winning in the Aquatic Center. Since the facility opened in 1981, the Crimson Tide men's team has only lost a handful of home dual meets. Two of the three SEC Championships the Tide won in the decade of the 1980s (men's titles in 1982 and 1987) were won in the Aquatic Center. The Tide is tough to beat at home - and the Aquatic Center is part of the reason why.
The Aquatic Center's main competition pool is 25 yards by 50 meters and is 6.5 feet deep at its shallowest point, 18 feet at its deepest. When set up for long course competition, the pool boasts eight nine-foot wide lanes. When configured for short course, the pool can accommodate up to 17 nine-foot wide lanes. The main pool has four diving boards - two 1-meter and two 3-meter - and a 5- and 10-meter platform. In addition to the main competition course, the Aquatic Center has an eight lane, 25-yard pool. The Aquatic Center also contains a complete weight room, dry land training areas and meeting rooms, all utilized by the Alabama swimmers in their training.
Just before the 2002 season the pool where he ruled became The Don Gambril Olympic Pool. The home of the Crimson Tide received not just a facelift but a full renovation in recent years, maintaining the standard of excellence that it has earned through the years. The $1.5 million renovation included a complete renovation of the men's and women's locker rooms; a new pool surface; additional office space for coaches and administrators; fresh paint and new tile for the pool; new lighting and a new sound system.
Scoreboard, Timing and Judging
An electronic timing system determines elapsed time, order of finish and lap splits for each lane to .001 second, which is transmitted to a large display scoreboard. Judges' stations at the diving pool also compute and transmit scoring to the display.
The main competition venue seats 1,500, every seat of which is often taken during invitational and championship swimming and diving meets.
Alabama Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame
In 2002, the lobby of the Aquatic Center was converted into a Hall of Fame which not only houses the University of Alabama Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame but also mementos and informational displays of Alabama's past and present.
Directions to the Facility
From Interstate 20/59 take Exit 73 on Highway 82 East (McFarland Boulevard). Continue on to the University Blvd. exit and turn right on to University Blvd. Continue on University Blvd. and immediately get in the left lane on to Paul W. Bryant Drive. Go past DCH Hospital on the left and into the University of Alabama campus. The Alabama Aquatic Center is located on the left at the intersection of Bryant Drive and Hackberry Street directly across the street from Regions Bank.