Florida Southern College Director of Athletics Pete Meyer has announced the hiring of Andy Robins as the Moccasins’ new swimming coach. Robins comes to Florida Southern with 23 years of college coaching experience and replaces former head coach Mike Blum, who joined the staff at the University of North Carolina in late July.
“We are excited to have Andy Robins and his 23 years of collegiate coaching experience leading our swim program,” said Meyer. “Andy understands the combination of academic and athletic excellence that is the tradition of Florida Southern College. We are expecting the program to reach new heights under his leadership.”
“I am very excited to become part of the Florida Southern Athletics family, and I’m grateful to Athletic Director Pete Meyer and Senior Associate Athletic Director Drew Howard for selecting me, and entrusting me to lead the swimming program here,” said Robins. “Duncan Sherrard and Mike Blum have done a tremendous job building this program and I’m looking forward to building on their success. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the swimmers that are currently on the team and I can’t wait to get started. Florida Southern has a lot to offer, the college’s commitment to engaged education is second to none, and the city of Lakeland is a great draw as well.”
Robins spent the last three seasons as assistant coach at Georgia Tech with a focus on sprinters after more than 20 years at Florida State University where he was the Seminoles’ associate head coach from 2001-13. In a career spanning two decades, Robins has directed the training of 32 swimmers who have won ACC individual championships (10 women and 22 men, many of whom won multiple titles), 38 All-Americans, and 53 NCAA Championship qualifiers. Among the most recent was Georgia Tech senior Iris Wang, who re-wrote the school record book as a sprinter over the last three seasons, and became the Yellow Jackets’ first female swimmer in 10 years at the 2018 NCAA Championships.
On the men’s side, Robins guided Youssef Hammoud all the way to the NCAA Championships in 2016 as a qualifier in three events while posting some of the best times in school history. One year later, several other men posted times that placed them among the all-time top-10 in Georgia Tech history, and last year saw the Yellow Jacket men’s team finish the regular season ranked No. 25 in the country with four NCAA qualifiers.
Prior to his time in Atlanta, Robins helped Florida State All-American Paul Murray set a new ACC record in the 50-free after capturing a gold medal in 2014. That same year, another of his sprinters on the women’s side, Tiffany Oliver, became the first Seminole to win back-to-back ACC sprint titles.
Robins’ coaching experience has not been limited to the college ranks. He was head coach at Leon High School in Tallahassee from 1985-90, and served on the coaching staff at Area Tallahassee Aquatic Club from May 1985 to October 1997. He was promoted to head age group coach in 1987, and took over the head coaching duties for ATAC in 1993. While there, Robins was responsible for overseeing all aspects of a USA Swimming program of more than 200 swimmers, ranging from novice to Olympic level. He led the club to a top-10 finish at the 1996 Junior National Championships.
In addition to his coaching duties, Robins has been active with Florida Swimming, serving multiple terms in different capacities, including Administrative Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, and head coach of the Florida All-Star Team at the 1990 and ’91 Southern Zone Championships. He is also a certified coach with USA Swimming.
Robins graduated from the College of William & Mary in 1983 with a degree in psychology and received a master’s degree in science education from Florida State in 1987. While in college, Robins swam both the backstroke and distance freestyle events, and set the school record in the 1,650-freestyle while also serving as team captain.
Robins and his wife Karen have three daughters and one son, Beth, Kurt, Jenna, and Annemarie.