Neil Versfeld, a standout swimmer on both the collegiate and international stages, is returning to his alma mater as an Associate Head Coach for Georgia’s swimming and diving program.
Versfeld competed for Georgia in 2006, 2007, and 2009. He won the NCAA title in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2009, and he swept the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke titles at the 2009 Southeastern Conference Championships. When he completed his career for the Bulldogs, Versfeld held the NCAA, U.S. Open, and Georgia record in the 200-yard breaststroke, along with the school mark in the 100-yard breaststroke.
“Neil was the ultimate competitor as a swimmer, and he brings that same mentality to his coaching,” said Jack Bauerle, Georgia’s Tom Cousins Swimming and Diving Head Coach. “He is a rising star in our profession due to his innovation, his passion, his creativity, and his energy. Neil works hard but he also brings a measure of fun to the pool. He is a personable young man who is well-liked by everyone he meets. His connections and reputation will help him effectively recruit nationally and internationally. Neil will be a great addition to our coaching staff. He fully realizes what elite swimming is all about.”
“I am incredibly honored and humbled by this opportunity,” Versfeld said. “It has been a dream to return to Athens to give back to the university, the program, and the community that gave me so much. I couldn’t be more excited to begin this new journey at the University of Georgia and to continue building upon the legacy that Jack has created through this program.”
Versfeld represented South Africa in several international competitions, including the 2008 Olympics in Beijing where he was a semifinalist in the 200-meter breaststroke. He came in fourth in the 2010 World Championships and was a semifinalist in the 2009 and 2011 Worlds.
Versfeld began his coaching career as an assistant for the Seals Swimming Club in South Africa and then spent two years at SwimAtlanta. Most recently, Versfeld was as an assistant coach for four years at Georgia Tech under Courtney Shealy Hart, another former Georgia standout. During his time at Tech, Versfeld coached multiple NCAA qualifiers and ACC- and school-record holders.
Said Versfeld, “I am very grateful for the opportunity Courtney provided for me at Georgia Tech and will cherish the experience of working with such great student-athletes and coaches.”
Versfeld graduated from Georgia in 2010 with a degree in Housing. He was a CSCAA All-American Scholar and a member of the SEC and UGA academic honor rolls.
He is married to the former Michelle McKeehan, who was a 10-time All-American for Georgia from 2009-12. She won the SEC title in 200-yard breaststroke in 2012.