WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
May 8, 2013
South Florida Aquatic Club’s Tiffany Oliver has a new head coach.
Former Florida Gold Coast swimmer and 1993 St. Thomas Aquinas alum Frankie Bradley returned to his alma mater this week as newly-named head coach of Florida State.
Bradley graduated from FSU in 1997 and started a journey of building an impressive resume that included coaching jobs at Indian River State College, South Carolina and Auburn before returning to FSU.
“I’m thrilled,” Bradley said. “I’ve spent a number of years coaching and I’ve always thought that coming back to Florida State would be awesome. I got the call last week and it was incredible. I’m excited to lead the program.”
Bradley has been one of the most sought after college coaches for several jobs. Bradley replaces Neil Harper whose contract was not renewed after fourteen seasons.
Bradley will be faced with rebuilding the men’s team which graduated three of the four members of their Atlantic Coast Conference record-setting freestyle relays. The men’s team have several top freshmen coming in including Aruba Olympian Jemal Le Grand of Davie Nadadores and Sagemont.
The women’s team, led by SOFLO’s Tiffany Oliver, a double ACC sprint champion, lost top butterflier, Elizabeth Pepper to a transfer. The women’s team has top recruit Chelsea Britt coming in.
Bradley has worked with Olympians Mateo De Angulo of Colombia, Gideon Louw of South Africa, Marcelo Chierighini of Brazil, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of the Bahamas, and American Micah Lawrence.
While at St. Thomas, Bradley was a state champion in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1992 and six-time high school All-American. He was a four-year letterman at FSU which including an ACC title in 1995 in the 200-yard individual medley.
Oliver Named Top Swimmer
SOFLO’s Tiffany Oliver, who grew up with the Comets program and is now finishing her junior year at Florida State, was named the Seminoles’ Most Valuable Swimmer for the women’s team.
Oliver won the 50- and 100-yard freestyles at the ACC Championships. She qualified for the NCAA Championships and earned All-American honors in the 50 freestyle and 800 free relay.
Oliver holds the FSU records in the 50 and 100 freestyle and as a member of the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle relay teams.
“Tiffany really came into her own this year,” said associate head coach Andy Robins after the Seminoles annual awards banquet. “She was such a key asset for us in so many events.”
Charlotte Grand Prix
Five-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte, gold medalists Ricky Berens, Cullen Jones, Conor Dwyer, Jessica Hardy and Allison Schmitt head the field for the Arena Grand Prix that begins Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. With 30 swimmers, Charlotte-based SwimMac Carolina is expected to dominate. The meet will serve as a preparation meet for the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships and World Championship Trials in Indianapolis, World University Games and World Championships.
Phelps Among Influential
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian ever with 22 medals, is ranked second behind quarterback Tim Tebow on Forbes Magazine’s list of the Top 10 Most Influential Athletes. He is ranked ahead of several top pro athletes including LeBron James, David Beckham and Peyton Manning. Phelps has done more for the sport of swimming than any other swimmer, male or female, in the history of the sport and Olympics.
FINA Diving Grand Prix
Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex will host 120 divers from 21 countries including 2012 Olympic champions and medalists, for the fourth stop of the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix that begins on Thursday and ends Sunday. The meet will help divers fine tune for World Championships in Barcelona. The events include men’s and women’s 3-meter springboard, 10-meter platform and 3-meter and 10-meter synchro. Powerhouse China is expected to dominate. Olympic gold medalist David Boudia will compete in his first major competition since winning two medals at the London Olympics. U.S. divers will be looking to prepare for the May 15-20 World Championship Trials in Tallahassee.
Five-time Olympian Dara Torres of Boston and Milwaukee-based Koss have launched a new headphone line for women called Koss Fit Series. The line includes FitClips and Fit Buds…U.S. Masters Spring Nationals get underway on Thursday in Indianapolis. GOLD’s Deb Cavanaugh along with eight other local swimmers will compete in individual events only. The age groups did not work for relays, according to Cavanaugh. The meet ends Sunday.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org