Just Keep Swimming

Taylor Steele, head coach of Randolph's women's and men's swim teams

Taylor Steele, head coach of Randolph’s women’s and men’s swim teams

One of Taylor Steele’s greatest mentors was the coach of his college swimming team. Now he hopes to give back in a similar way as head coach of Randolph’s women’s and men’s swimming teams, which will join the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) in the 2017-18 season.

Randolph’s men’s team is a brand-new addition to the College’s athletics program and is among the first of its kind to join the ODAC, which just began sponsoring men’s swimming in 2014. The women’s program, however, had a long history of success before it was put on hiatus in 2009. Dating back to the 1980s, three different coaches were named ODAC Coach of the Year, and three swimmers earned multiple awards from the conference. One of those swimmers, Amy Winder Heidler ’87, was a two-time All-American.

In his first season as the coach of both new teams, Steele looks forward to building off of the past success of the women’s program and setting and breaking records in every men’s match.

“I love it here,” he said. “The community is really nice and everybody is really open and welcoming. I’ve gotten a ton of support from the other coaches, and they’ve been willing to give me advice and challenge me to do my best.”

Steele brings extensive experience in and around the pool. He was most recently an assistant coach at Washington & Lee University, where he helped lead the women’s team to three consecutive ODAC championships. Also during his tenure at W&L, the men’s program won its first two ODAC titles, and he coached two All-Americans and two ODAC Swimmers of the Year.

Steele earned his Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology from Southwestern University in 2011, and his Master of Education from Angelo State in 2013.

“We’re excited to have Coach Steele join the WildCat family,” said Tina Hill, director of athletics. “He will have the opportunity to build a new swimming program for our women and men that I know we can all be proud of. Coach Steele brings to us a wealth of experience in both swimming and strength and conditioning that will benefit our future swimmers. He has the ability to attract talented student-athletes to Randolph and his familiarity with the top program in the ODAC will serve us well.”