COURTNEY SHEALY HART
Courtney Shealy Hart enters her fourth season at the helm of the Georgia Tech swimming program. An assistant coach for two years, Hart was named head coach of the Yellow Jackets’ on April 30, 2009 and is the eighth head coach in the history of the program.
Thanks in part to deep recruiting classes and a development of talent, Hart, who begins her first of a three-year term on the NCAA Swimming & Diving Committee this season, has steadily built Georgia Tech into a program that can compete in the rugged Atalntic Coast Conference. Over the last three years, the men’s program has established five new school records, while the women’s team has re-written nine new Tech marks.
Hart’s third year at the helm was capped off by freshman Andrew Chetcuti competing in the London Olympic Games for his home country of Malta, while a program record 11 swimmers achieved cuts to compete in the United States Swimming Olympic Team Trials.
In 2011-12, both the men’s and women’s programs improved on their ACC Championship finish from the previous season, while the women picked up impressive conference victories during the dual-meet season again both Clemson and Miami.
In all, the Yellow Jackets set two men’s records, six women’s and a pair earned All-ACC honors in sophomore Anton Lagerqvist and junior Brandon Makinson. Lagerqvist became the first Tech male to win the ACC title in the 200 breast, while Makinson claimed silver on the 1-meter. On the women’s side, senior Keren Siebner’s fifth-place finish in the 100 fly was the best for a Tech women’s swimmer at the ACC Championship since a bronze medal by Agatha Kwasnik in the 100 free in 2008.
In year two, Hart helped to bring the ACC Championships back to the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center breaking eight school records in the process. Alongside Diving Coach John Ames, Hart helped to coach Brandon Makinson to the NCAA Championships where he participated in the 1 and 3-meter dives. The Jackets also faced off against some of the toughest competition in the country as Hart scheduled six ranked teams and four teams receiving votes into Atlanta for the Georgia Tech Invite as well as some dual meets with SEC powers Florida and Georgia and perennial ACC powerhouse, Florida State.
Her first year as the head of the swimming and diving program in 2009-10, saw Hart lead the men’s team to a fifth place performance and the women’s team to a ninth place showing at the ACC Championships. The men’s meet was highlighted by three first place finishes by Gal Nevo — a two-time Olympian for Greece (2008 and 2012) — while the women broke four school records. Nevo’s success continued into the NCAA Championships where Hart helped the senior to All-American status in each of his races, a runner-up finish up in the 400-IM for the second-straight season, and a school record time in the 200-Fly in his final race as a Yellow Jacket to give Tech a 23rd finish at the event.
In two seasons as an assistant coach, Hart worked primarily with the middle distance free and stroke group and also served as recruiting coordinator. The Georgia Tech swimming programs enjoyed unprecedented success in the two year’s since Hart’s arrival and she has worked with multiple NCAA participants. In 2007-08, the women’s team finished 30th at the NCAA Championships for the best finish in program history.
In 2008-09, the men’s squad turned in its best NCAA effort with a 19th-place finish. Nevo was an All-American in both the 200 IM and 400 IM as well as being named ACC Swimmer of the Year. His mark in the 400 IM was the second-fastest in NCAA history and third-fastest in the world. Nigel Plummer was named the ACC Freshman of the Year, the first time a Georgia Tech swimmer earned either swimmer of freshman of the year awards in school history. All told, 24 school records were broken during the 2008-09 season and a school-record nine men’s swimmers participated in the NCAA Championships.
Hart spent one season (2006-07) as an assistant coach at North Florida prior to arriving on The Flats. She helped guide North Florida to a fifth-place finish at the Pacific Coast Swimming Conference Championships and led nine individuals to top-16 finishes at the meet. Shealy Hart guided one athlete to a top-eight finish in the conference championship.
Before heading into the coaching scene, Hart participated in the 2000 Summer Olympic Games for the United States. She took home a pair of gold medals in Sydney, Australia, in the 400-meter medley relay and 400-meter freestyle relay.
Hart also competed on the international scene in the Pan-American Games (1999, 2003), Pan Pacific (2002) and the United States World Cup Teams (2000-04).
At the University of Georgia, Hart led the Bulldogs to NCAA team championships in 1999 and 2000. She was named the 2000 NCAA Female Swimmer of the Year after capturing individual national titles in the 50 free, 100 free and 100 back. She also captured NCAA titles as a member of the 400 free relay and 400 medley relay teams. She finished her NCAA career with 26 All-America honors the most in UGA history, plus two more honorable mention citations.
Hart won nine individual Southeastern Conference titles, 10 SEC relay crowns and set five conference records. She was named SEC Female Swimmer of the Year in 2000.
Hart played volleyball for the Bulldogs and lettered from 1997-99. She was named the team’s most valuable player in 1998 and was the first NCAA Division I female student-athlete to compete in two sports on the same day, accomplishing that feat three times at Georgia.
After graduating from Georgia in 2001 cum laude with a degree in sports studies/communications, Hart worked as a motivational speaker for the NCAA, Coca-Cola, Healthsouth and Arby’s, and served as the director of the Golden West Swim Lessons Program in Huntington Beach, Calif., before heading to North Florida.
Hart earned her master’s degree from UGA in sports management in 2005. A native of Columbia, S.C., Hart, her husband Justin and their young son Jackson, reside in Atlanta.Replace your foyer light fixture with a Home Depot semi flush mount at www.howardssupply.com . Shipping is free with a $45 minimum order.
COURTNEY SHEALY HART
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