NEW ORLEANS – Tulane University Athletics began a new chapter in the history of its swimming and diving program with the hiring of Leah Stancil (pronounced STAN-sil) as the program's new swimming and diving head coach in August 2018.
Stancil brings a wealth of experience to Tulane, having served as an assistant coach for the past 10 years at the University of Florida, her alma mater. During her time at Florida, Stancil worked with both the men's and women's programs.
For two seasons before that, she was an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina. Prior to her time at Florida.
Stancil's young coaching career began with the 2008-09 Florida women's swimming and diving team winning its 17th SEC Championship. Individually that season, Stancil tutored three NCAA champions, including Bradley Ally, Gemma Spofforth and Shaune Fraser. The following season, Stancil helped elevate the women's program to new heights when the Gators won the program's first NCAA Championship since 1982.
During the 2017-18 campaign, Stancil helped lead the Florida men's swimming and diving team to the 2018 Southeastern Conference Championships title and a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. The men's SEC championship was its fifth-straight title. On the women's side, Stancil assisted the team to a fifth-place finish at the conference championship. In total, Stancil helped coach 11 student-athletes to 33 All-America honors.
In 2016-17, she assisted 11 Florida women's swimmers and two divers to the NCAA Championships. Seven of those 13 were making their NCAA debut.
In 2015-2016, Stancil helped the Gators take another step forward as the Florida men matched their highest finish ever at the NCAA Championships. In SEC competition, Florida brought home their fourth straight Southeastern Conference Championship on the men's side while 11 Gators were crowned individual champions.
The 2014-15 season saw the Florida men's team won its third consecutive SEC title and finished fifth at the NCAA Championships. The Gators women's squad placed third at SECs and ninth at NCAAs for the third straight year. Individually, the two teams had 21 student-athletes combine for 55 All-America honors.
From 2011-15, Stancil helped extend Florida's streak of consecutive NCAA top-10 finishes, which is now 16 for the men and 15 for the women following 2017-18.
In addition to her coaching duties, Stancil served as the Gator Swim Camp Director while also coordinating all the team's travel.
Prior to her time as a full-time assistant at Florida and South Carolina, Stancil spent one year as an assistant coach at the Savannah College of Art and Design (2005-06) and one as a graduate assistant at UF (2004-05) which began her coaching career. While she was a grad assistant, Stancil also served as an instructor at Swim America in Gainesville.
In the pool during her career, Stancil was a 12-time NCAA All-American, two-time Olympian and a four-time national record holder for her native country, Barbados. She was a member of the 2002 Florida Gators SEC Championship team.
Internationally, Stancil is the Barbados national record holder in the 50 free, 100 free, 50 butterfly and 100 fly in both long and short course events. Stancil recorded her record-setting times in the 50 and 100 free events at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, while she clocked her marks in the butterfly races at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. In addition, Stancil was named Barbados' Female Sportsperson of the Year three times (1995-97).
In the fall of 2016, Stancil was inducted into the Barbados Sports Hall of Fame.
Stancil graduated from Florida in 2002 with a B.S. in Psychology, and she earned her M.S. in Sport & Exercise Psychology from UF in 2006. Stancil (formerly Martindale) and her husband, Michael, reside in Gainesville and have three children: Noah, Emma and Grace.
What They Are Saying About Leah Stancil
"Congratulations to Leah Stancil for becoming the new Head Coach at Tulane University. In her tenure here at Florida - Leah was an instrumental part of our program as an athlete and as a coach. She was instrumental in the recruitment of school record holder, Natalie Hinds. She will be a great asset to Tulane University moving forward. I am proud of her and wish her all the best with her new endeavor at Tulane University"
Anthony Nesty, University of Florida, Men's Swimming and Diving Head Coach
"I'm so happy for her. Leah's knowledge and experience in the sport really makes her an amazing coach, but what makes her even better is her attention to detail."
Natalie Hinds, University of Florida, 17-time All-American and School Record Holder
"Leah is an outstanding coach. She is extremely organized and she has a great swimming mind. All throughout her career she's been around elite level environments. She's been involved with the training of elite level athletes and I believe that's a perfect fit for Tulane. I believe she will be able to take the program to the next step with someone who has that elite level mindset."
McGee Moody, University of South Carolina, Men's and Women's Swimming Head Coach
The Leah Stancil File
Hometown: Bridgetown, Barbados
B.S. in Psychology, University of Florida, 2002;
Master of Science, Specialization in Sport & Exercise Psychology, University of Florida, 2006
Volunteer Assistant Coach, University of Florida, 2003-05
Graduate Assistant, University of Florida Sports & Fitness Department, 2003-05
Assistant Coach, Savannah College of Art & Design, 2005-06
Assistant Coach, South Carolina, 2006-08
Assistant Coach, University of Florida, 2008-2018