Mitch Ivey

Mitchell Ivey (born February 2, 1949) is a former American international swimmer who was a backstroke specialist and Olympic medalist. Ivey later became a prominent Olympic and college swimming coach.

Mitch Ivey
Personal information
Full nameMitchell Ivey
National teamUnited States
Born (1949-02-02) February 2, 1949
San Jose, California, U.S.
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight159 lb (72 kg)
ClubSanta Clara Swim Club
College teamCalifornia State University, Long Beach

Early years

He was born in San Jose, California, and trained with the Santa Clara Swim Club under coach George Haines.[1] As a member of the Santa Clara Swim Club, he won three Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) United States national championships. He initially attended Stanford University, but transferred to California State University, Long Beach, where he swam for coach Don Gambril's Long Beach State 49ers swim team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition. Ivey won the 200-yard backstroke at the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships with a time of 1:52.77 in 1970,[2][3] and graduated from Long Beach State in 1972.[1]

Olympic career

Ivey participated in two Olympics as a member of the United States Olympic Team: the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, and the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, winning two Olympic medals.[1] He won a silver medal by finishing second behind Roland Matthes in the men's 200-meter backstroke in 1968.[4][5] He also won a bronze medal with a third-place finish in the 200-meter backstroke,[6] and competed in the 100-meter backstroke, placing fourth in the finals at the 1972 Olympics.[1][7] He swam for the gold medal-winning U.S. relay team in the preliminary heats of the men's 4×100-meter medley,[8] but was ineligible to receive a medal under the 1972 Olympic swimming rules because he did not swim in the event final.

Coaching career

Ivey became a noted Olympic and college swimming coach after his own competition swimming career ended. From 1974 to 1981, he was the head coach of the Santa Clara Swim Club, succeeding George Haines. Three of his Santa Clara swimmers qualified for the 1976 Summer Olympics.[9] In 1981, he became the head coach of the Concord Pleasant Hill Swim Club. From late 1988 to mid-1990, he coached the elite Etobicoke Swim Club in Toronto, Ontario. He served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic Team at the 1988 Summer Olympics. Ivey was chosen to replace Randy Reese as the head coach of the Florida Gators swimming and diving team of the University of Florida, and led the Gators women's team from 1990 to 1993.[10] During his three seasons as Florida's coach, the Lady Gators swimmers won the Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship three consecutive years, and finished third, third and second nationally at the NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships.[10] He was also recognized as the SEC Coach of the Year for three consecutive seasons.[10]

Despite his stellar three-year record of SEC championships and top-three NCAA national performances, the University of Florida Athletic Association released him in October 1993 following an episode of the ESPN television show Outside the Lines which recounted Ivey's history of romantic involvement with several of his previous swimmers before he became a coach at the University of Florida, and made allegations of sexual harassment against him.[11] Ivey had been previously married three times, including his second wife who was an 18-year-old swimmer at the time he married her.[12] Ivey denied the charges of misconduct, saying "I was told that putting my arm around a girl and using foul language was deemed reason enough" for the University of Florida to fire him.[13] ESPN did not interview Ivey, nor did he answer on air any of the allegations by ESPN.[12] His Florida women's swimmers issued a unanimous statement supporting him,[12] and stated publicly they did not complain about nor witness any inappropriate behavior.[14]

Ivey later coached the Trinity Prep Saints swimming and diving team of Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, Florida, and its affiliated club team, Trinity Prep Aquatics, during the late 1990s. Most recently, from 2003 to 2006, Ivey coached swimming at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville, Florida.

On December 24, 2013, USA Swimming, the national governing body for competition swimming in the United States, officially banned Ivey for life based on evidence that he had improper sexual relations with one or more swimmers while he was their coach.[15][16]

See also


  1., Olympic Sports, Athletes, Mitch Ivey. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  2. Long Beach State, Traditions. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
  3., Sports History, NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Champions Archived 2002-02-23 at the Library of Congress Web Archives. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  4., Athletes, Mitch Ivey Archived 2012-10-23 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  5., Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1972 Ciudad de Mexico Summer Games, Men's 200 metres Backstroke Final. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  6., Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1972 München Summer Games, Men's 200 metres Backstroke Final. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  7., Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1972 München Summer Games, Men's 100 metres Backstroke Final. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  8., Olympic Sports, United States Swimming at the 1972 München Summer Games. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  9. Santa Clara Swim Club, SCSC History Archived 2012-02-09 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
  10. Florida Swimming & Diving 2011–12 Media Supplement Archived 2013-05-21 at the Wayback Machine, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida (2011). Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  11. Mike Dame, "Hiring And Firing Of Ivey At Florida Has Many Layers," Orlando Sentinel (November 3, 1993). Retrieved July 8, 2012.
  12. Pat Dooley, "UF swim coach Mitch Ivey fired," The Gainesville Sun, pp. 1A & 8A (October 26, 1993). Retrieved July 8, 2012.
  13. Associated Press, "Sports People: Swimming; Coach Is Released," The New York Times (October 27, 1993). Retrieved July 8, 2012.
  14. Mike Dame, "Swim Coach's Past Haunts Florida," Chicago Tribune (November 14, 1993). Retrieved July 10, 2012.
  15. Scott M. Reid, "Swimming coach Ivey banned for life," Orange County Register (November 24, 2013). Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  16. "Mitch Ivey Officially Banned for Life by USA Swimming," Swimming World Magazine (December 24, 2013). Retrieved July 22, 2014.
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