March 29, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
University of Alabama swimming & diving head coach Eric McIlquham announced Thursday that he will not return to his current position for the 2012-13 season. McIlquham has been the head coach of the swimming & diving program since August of 2003.
"The time is right to step aside and pursue new challenges," McIlquham said. "I will always be grateful for the opportunity that I had here at Alabama and the relationships I have made along the way. I'm proud of what we were able to accomplish in the pool, in the classroom and in the community. I'm leaving the program in good shape. I want to thank my staff that, as a group, has a combined tenure of more than 70 years at UA."
Through nine seasons as Alabama's head coach, McIlquham led the Crimson Tide to eight top 25 national finishes between the men's and women's teams. During McIlquham's tenure as head coach, Alabama swimmers and divers won three individual NCAA Championships, earned 99 All-American honors, produced 254 SEC Academic Honor Roll accolades, one NCAA Diver of the Year and broke 34 of 44 school records.
"We are appreciative of all Eric accomplished here at the Capstone," UA Director of Athletics Mal Moore said. "Under his direction, our student-athletes competed at the highest level and excelled in the classroom. We wish him all the best as he moves forward."
Academically the Tide men's and women's teams were ranked first and second respectively nationally in terms of team grade point average last season. Individually, nine swimmers and divers have earned a place on the CoSIDA Academic All-America At-Large Team since 2005.
Prior to becoming Alabama's head coach, McIlquham served as head coach at West Virginia and assistant head coach at Virginia. He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant and then assistant coach at Alabama from 1992-96. McIlquham served as head coach of Egypt's swim team at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
A national search will begin immediately for McIlquham's replacement.