April 30, 2009
ATLANTA – Courtney Hart, a Georgia Tech assistant coach the past two years, was named head coach of the Yellow Jackets’ swimming programs, director of athletics Dan Radakovich announced.
“Courtney has all of the ingredients necessary to lead our swimming program to great success,” said Radakovich. “She has been extremely impressive as an assistant coach, gaining the admiration of her colleagues and student-athletes. Her own record as a two-time Olympic gold medal winner and a two-sport athlete herself speaks to her passion, drive and dedication.
“I have no doubt that Courtney will be a highly-regarded mentor and coach for many years to come. We are delighted to have this outstanding role model leading our swimming program at Georgia Tech.”
Hart is the eighth head coach in the history of the program, succeeding Stu Wilson, who resigned earlier this month.
“I’d like to thank Dan Radakovich, [senior women’s administrator and Associate Director of Athletics] Theresa Wenzel and [Senior Associate Director of Athletics] Paul Griffin for this opportunity,” said Hart. “I’d also like to thank Stu Wilson for bringing me here and giving me the chance to work with a first-class program. Stu did a great job building this program to the level it is today and I am looking forward to continuing the tradition and taking Georgia Tech to the next step. There is so much potential here and I can’t wait to get started.”
For the last two years, 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.
This past season, the men’s squad turned in its best NCAA effort with a 19th-place finish. Gal 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. 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, and her husband Justin, reside in Atlanta.