Doug Boyd is a swimming professional. His resumé is
packed with achievements that could trump the accomplishments of
many head coaches around the country. It makes it difficult to
understand why he’s currently the volunteer coach for the
Michigan women’s swimming team. After two years with the
Wolverines, it’s even harder to believe that Boyd puts in the
same hours as head coach Jim Richardson, and doesn’t get
paid.

“I came to Michigan to learn about the team’s
training style and to help (Richardson) learn about how I coach
sprinters,” Boyd said. “While coaching and traveling
with the team, I also give private swim lessons and conduct clinics
for people around the area.”

According to Boyd, his swimming career began as a “pool
rat” in New York. In 1983 he attended Indiana and swam under
the legendary James “Doc” Counsilman. While there, Boyd
had one of the world’s top-100 fastest times in the 100-yard
freestyle.

After graduating, he took up his first coaching job as the
graduate assistant for the Hoosiers.

In 1991, he accepted the head coaching position for the
men’s and women’s swimming teams at UC San Diego. Boyd
led the Tritons to top-three finishes in 13 of 16 NCAA
championships. He produced 16 individual NCAA champions, three NCAA
Swimmers of the Year and 69 All-Americans.

He was also named the Division III Coach of the Year in
1998.

In 1999, Boyd left UC San Diego and began coaching at Rice,
where he led the Owls to the most successful three years in school
history. Boyd left suddenly after his third season as head
coach.

“Rice wasn’t the right fit for me and for what I
wanted to do,” Boyd said. “So I took a few months to
gather myself together and decided Michigan was the best option for
me at this point in time.”

Richardson encouraged Boyd to come help the Wolverines, although
he didn’t have a salary position for him.

“It’s impossible to only have two coaches for a team
this size,” Richardson said. “It’s not fair to
the athletes, especially for an individual sport such as
swimming.”

Boyd has become a familiar fixture at Canham Natatorium. While
primarily working with the sprinters, Boyd helps the entire team
with starts and weight training. Once in a while, he’ll even
get in the pool and do a workout with them.

“I swam competitively until I was 27,” Boyd said.
“And I guess I haven’t got it out of my skin
yet.”

With Michigan’s swim season coming to a close in three
weeks, Boyd is unsure of his future plans with the Wolverines.

“Working with the team has been a great experience,”
Boyd said. “But with this job, I’m sort of
year-to-year. I’m always in search of a new challenge, so now
I’m just waiting for opportunities as they present
themselves.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.