UNC Swimming & Diving Staff
Rich DeSelm
Head Swimming Coach

     Coming off his most successful season to date, Rich DeSelm is now in his sixth year as the head swimming coach at the University of North Carolina after serving for one year as the chief assistant and head coach designate under former mentor Frank Comfort.

     The program has made great strides under DeSelm's tutelage in the past five years.  DeSelm had been a highly successful head coach at Davidson College and a long-time assistant at perennial Top 10 program Florida before he assumed the full-time head coaching duties at Carolina on July 1, 2007.

     Last year, DeSelm led Carolina to one of its most successful combined seasons in history.  Forty-eight Tar Heels qualified for the 2012 Olympics Trials, UNC swimmers combined to set 24 records, the Tar Heel men finished in the Top 15 for the third straight year and the Carolina women placed 19th at the NCAA meet.

     After a 14th-place finish at the NCAA meet, UNC's men posted back-to-back-to-back NCAA Top 15 finishes for the first time since 1956-58.  The 19th-place finish by the UNC women was the team's best finish since 2003.  In August, junior Stephanie Peacock and senior Tom Luchsinger were named to the U.S. National Team and both will swim in 2013 World University Games.  Forty UNC swimmers and divers were named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll, the most in DeSelm's five years in Chapel Hill.

     In 2011-12, DeSelm was named ACC Women's Coach of the Year and Peacock swept ACC Swimmer of the Year honors and the MVP awards at the ACC Championships.  Peacock won the NCAA championship in the 1650-yard freestyle in an NCAA record time and she placed third in the 500-yard freestyle.  It was the first NCAA championship for a UNC woman since 2003 (Jessi Perruquet in the 200 freestyle) and Steve Cebertowicz finished sixth in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyles at NCAAs, the first time a Tar Heel man has finaled in both events since Pete Worthen in 1965.

     In September 2011, DeSelm was named as a National Team staff coach by United States Swimming, one of the most prestigious honors a coach can attain nationally.  This came on the heels of his first-ever international head coaching assignment in August 2011 when he piloted the ship for the U.S. men's team at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China.  Two Tar Heel student-athletes mentored by DeSelm won bronze medals at the Games - Tyler Harris in the 400-meter individual medley and Stephanie Peacock in the 400-meter freestyle.

     The 2010-11 season was also a magnificent one under DeSelm's tutelage.  The men and women both took second in the conference championships with the women achieving their highest point total in four years.  The women garnered their third successive NCAA Top 25 finish while the men finished 14th at NCAAs, the highest team finish in 18 years.

     UNC's women won five individual titles and two relay championships at the ACC meet and the men won five individual titles of their own.  Altogether, UNC rewrote the short course record book for both teams with nine new school records on the women's side and 12 on the men's ledger.  In addition, five more school records fell during the long course season in the summer of 2011.

     Individually, Tyler Harris placed third in the 400 IM at NCAAs, the highest individual placing by a UNC man since 1966.  Joe Kinderwater copped first-team All-America honors in the 1650-yard freestyle and became only the fourth men's swimmer in Carolina history to win first-team honors all four years.  The men's 800-yard freestyle relay garnered first-team All-America accolades, the first Tar Heel relay to do so in 18 seasons.  Carly Smith, Layne Brodie and Tyler Harris each won a pair of individual ACC titles and Tommy Wyher captured the men's 100-yard backstroke at ACCs, becoming only the 20th individual in ACC history to win the same event four years in a row.

     Both teams continued to excel academically with 14 All-ACC Academic selections and 32 ACC Academic Honor Roll choices.  Tyler Harris was named the ACC Men's Swimming Scholar-Athlete of the Year, following in the footsteps of Chip Peterson who won the award a year earlier.

     DeSelm has been an elite coach at every level during his more than three decades in college coaching.  As an assistant coach at North Carolina (1978-93) and Florida (2000-06), he assisted on teams that won 16 conference championships and placed in the Top 25 on 36 occasions at the NCAA Championships, including 21 Top 10 finishes.  As a head coach at Davidson his teams won seven conference championships and placed in the Top 10 of the ECAC Championships seven times in eight years.

     A team captain, first-team All-America and long-time assistant coach at Carolina, DeSelm earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from UNC in 1978.  He went on to earn a master's degree from Duke University in 1988 in liberal studies.  He swam at Carolina from 1974-78 as a distance freestyler.  He was the captain of coach Frank Comfort's first team in 1978 when he was the squad's most valuable swimmer.  In 1976, DeSelm was a first-team All-America selection in the 800-yard freestyle relay.

     DeSelm, 56 years old, served as head coach designate in 2006-07, and became the head coach when Frank Comfort retired on June 30, 2007. Comfort was the winningest dual-meet swimming coach in college history and he led Carolina to 26 ACC championships in his 30-year tenure.  DeSelm had previously worked as Comfort's No. 1 assistant for 15 seasons from 1978-93, years in which the program competed at a very high level in the conference and nationally.  In DeSelm's sole year as the head coach designate, Carolina's women claimed the ACC title for the first time in five years and both the men and women improved their NCAA finishes from the previous campaign.  Nine women qualified for the NCAA meet as did four men.  Sixteen swimmers and divers were named to the 2007 All-ACC Team.

     In his first year at the helm of the Carolina program in 2007-08, DeSelm coached the Tar Heels to second-place finishes at the ACC Championships. The men's second-place finish was their highest placing since 2001.  For the first time since 2004, three Tar Heel men achieved All-America honors. Tyler Harris won the ACC title and set a UNC record in the 400 IM. Joe Kinderwater claimed the ACC championship and first-team All-America honors in the 1650 freestyle.  He set school records in the 1000 and 1650 freestyles while making the finals of the 2008 Olympic Trials in the 1500-meter free.  Junior Whitney Sprague continued her record-setting career with ACC championships in the 500 and 1650 freestyles. She placed second in the NCAA Championships in the 1650.

     The Tar Heel program really took off during DeSelm's second year at UNC in 2008-09. Carolina sent nine women and five men to the 2009 NCAA Championships with the women finishing 20th, Carolina's best placing since 2003. Sprague was the NCAA runner-up for the second year in a row in the 1650 freestyle while breaking the ACC record in the event.  Katura Harvey placed seventh at NCAAs in the 1650 and broke the ACC record in the 500 Layne Brodie was named ACC Freshman-of-the-Year, the first Tar Heel to win the award since Jessi Perruquet in 2003.  She broke UNC records in three events and conference records in the 100 and 200-yard breaststrokes. On the men's side, Harris broke the 200-yard IM and 400-yard IM school records. Kinderwater placed eighth at NCAAs in the 1650-yard freestyle where he was named first-team All-America and broke the UNC record.  Kinderwater also placed fourth at World Championships Trials in the 1500-meter free in 2009. Junior Chip Peterson broke the 500-yard freestyle school record.  Sophomore Tommy Wyher captured a pair of ACC titles and set league records in the 100 fly and 100 back and a third school record in the 200 back.

     Both Tar Heel teams had banner campaigns in 2009-10.  The Tar Heel men finished second at the ACC Championships with 656.5 points, the most points UNC had scored in the meet since 2000.  Carolina's 15th-place NCAA finish was its best since 1996.  Carolina captured an ACC relay title for the first time in 12 years.  Three Tar Heels - Joe Kinderwater, Tommy Wyher and Tyler Harris - earned first-team All-America honors for UNC, the most in a single year since 1993.  Nine UNC swimmers overall earned first-team or honorable mention All-America accolades, the most since 1996.  Eight UNC performers were named All-ACC, the most since 1997.  UNC swimmers eclipsed nine school records during the school year.  Senior Chip Peterson was named the ACC Scholar-Athlete-of-the-Year and an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America.  He became the first Tar Heel men's swimmer since 1965 to win the Patterson Medal as the school's outstanding senior athlete.  The women's squad improved their point total at ACCs for the second straight year, scoring 642.5 points, the most since 2007.  For the second straight year UNC placed 20th at the NCAA Championships and the Tar Heels had relays score for the first time since 2003.  Altogether, UNC swimmers established seven school records, including three relay marks.  Laura Moriarty won three individual ACC championships, the most by a UNC women's swimmer since Richelle Fox won three titles in 1998.  Moriarty earned first-team All-America honors and she was one of seven Tar Heels overall who earned All-America accolades.

     DeSelm was an assistant at Carolina from 1978 to 1993. In his 15 years of coaching at Carolina, the Tar Heels won 14 Atlantic Coast Conference championships including nine by the women and five by the men.  The women had seven Top 10 and 14 Top 20 NCAA finishes, while the men finished in the national Top 25 on 10 occasions.

     While at Florida, DeSelm helped recruit and coach men's and women's teams that were consistently among the best in the country. Each year from 2001 through 2006, both the men's and women's swimming teams finished the season in the Top 10 nationally, posting seven Top five finishes along the way. The Gators earned more than 300 All-America honors in his six years in Gainesville, including a school-record 26 citations by Carlos Jayme, who DeSelm helped mentor from 2000-2004. Jayme was the 2001 Southeastern Conference Freshman-of-the-Year and the school record holder in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle. DeSelm also assisted in the training of Brazilian Olympian Gabriel Mangabiera, who finished fifth in the 100-meter butterfly at the 2004 Olympic Games.

     DeSelm led Davidson College to four women's and three men's titles at the Southern States Championships and he earned five coach-of-the-year awards. Mary Shell Brosche won three consecutive Southern States swimmer-of-the-year awards under his tutelage.  The Wildcats placed in the Top 10 of the ECAC meet seven times in eight years.

     He coached a pair of Tar Heels to berths in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Yann deFabrique, a first-team All-America at Carolina, was the 1993 French national champion in the 400-meter freestyle. David Monasterio, a first-team All-America at UNC in the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard butterfly, swam on the 1992 Puerto Rican Olympic Team.

     Other notable UNC swimmers coached by DeSelm as an assistant from 1979-93 include Sue Walsh, Polly Winde, James Hamrick, Carrie Szulc, John Davis, Gary Gauch, Melissa Douse and Sarah Perroni.  Walsh and Winde were members of the 1983 United States Team in the Pan American Games.

     DeSelm was the assistant manager for the U.S. team at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, and the 2004 FINA Short Course World Championships. He was the head manager for U.S. teams at the 1997 and 1999 Pan Pacific Championships and the 1995 Pan American Games.

  DeSelm and his wife, Tracy, a physician, have two children, Grant, 16 years old, a football player at Chapel Hill High School, and Claire, 14 years old, a talented junior level swimmer.  DeSelm is a native of Knoxville, Tenn., and attended high school there and in Jacksonville, Fla., where he graduated from The Bolles School in 1974.

  National and international highlights of selected individual swimmers Coach DeSelm has worked with during head coaching tenures at UNC and Davidson and an assistant at UNC and Florida.

     •Stephanie Peacock (University of North Carolina):  2012 NCAA champion, 1650-yard freestyle;  Bronze medalist, 400-meter free, 2011 World University Games;  2013 World University Games Selection;  ACC record holder, 500-yard freestyle, 1000-yard freestyle, 1650-yard freestyle;  NCAA record holder, 1650-yard freestyle;  2012 ACC Swimmer of the Year and ACC Meet MVP.  Member 2012 U.S. National team.

     •Tyler Harris (University of North Carolina): ACC Champion in 400 IM, 2008 & 2010 and in 200 IM in 2011.  First-team All-America in 400 IM, 2010 & 2011.  Bronze Medalist in 400-meter IM at 2011 World University Games.  UNC short course record holder in 200 IM, 400 IM.  School long course record holder in 200 IM, 400 IM.  ACC runner-up in three events, 2010.  Member 2011 USA Swimming National Team.

  • Joe Kinderwater (University of North Carolina): ACC champion, 1650 Free, 2008; ACC runner-up, 1650 Free, 2010 & 2011; 5th place at NCAAs in 1650 Free, 2008; 8th place at NCAAs in 1650 Free, 2009; 6th place at NCAAs in 1650 Free, 2010; 5th place at NCAAs in 1650 Free 2011; Four straight first-team All-America citations in 1650 Free; Olympic Trials finalist, 1500 Free, 2008; 4th-place finish in the 1500-meter free at World Champ Trials, 2009; School record holder in 1000 & 1650 freestyles.
  • Chip Peterson (University of North Carolina): ACC runner-up, 1650 Free, 2007; ACC champion, 1650 Free, 2010; 6th place at NCAAs, 1650 Free, 2007; National and World Open Water Swimming Champion; 500-yard freestyle and 1000-yard freestyle school record holder; Patterson Medal winner as UNC's outstanding senior athlete, 2010 (first male swimmer to win award since 1965).
  • Tommy Wyher (University of North Carolina): ACC Champion, 100 Back, 2008-2011, & 100 Fly, 2009 & 2010; ACC Record Holder, 100 Back & 100 Fly; First-Team All-America, 100 Fly (5th Place Finish), 2010; School Record Holder, 200 Back.
  • Laura Moriarty (University of North Carolina): Three-time ACC champion, 2010; First-Team All-America, 200 Breast, 2010. Moriarty holds school records in the 200 breast and 400 IM.

     •Tom Luchsinger (University of North Carolina):  Member 2011 & 2012 USA Swimming National Team;  Chosen for 2013 World University Games;  2012 ACC champion in 400-meter IM;  2011 & 2012 ACC champion in 200 fly;  2011 first-team All-America in 400 IM;  University record holder in 200-meter and 200-yard fly.

     •Steve Cebertowicz (University of North Carolina):  University record holder in 50-yard 50-meter, 100-yard, 100-meter freestyle;  Sixth-place finisher in 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle at NCAA Championships, first Tar Heel to place in both events since Pete Worthen in 1965.

     •Whitney Sprague (University of North Carolina): ACC Champion, 500 & 1650 Free, 2007 & 2008; Two-time 2nd place at NCAAs, 1650 Free, 2008 & 2009; 3rd place at NCAAs, 1650 Free, 2007. Held the ACC and UNC records in the 500, 1000 & 1650 freestyles.

*Katura Harvey (University of North Carolina): ACC 500 freestyle champion, 2009. Finished 7th at NCAAs in 1650 freestyle, 2009; NCAA first-team All-America, 2009; All-ACC in 200, 500 and 1650 free, 2009.

  • Darian Townsend (University of Florida): 6-time NCAA All America in 2005; 2005 SEC Champion, 200 Freestyle; member of NCAA record setting 800 Free Relay Team; South African Commonwealth Games Team member; 2-time NCAA All-America in 2006.
  • Maureen Farrell (University of Florida): 17-time NCAA All-America from 2002-2005; NCAA record holder 800 Free Relay; 5th at 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials in 200 Back.
  • Candice Weimann (University of Florida): 5-time NCAA All-America in 2005 after transferring from Alabama where she was a 4-time NCAA All-America in 2004; broke Dara Torres' 17-year-old Florida school record in 100 Fly; 5-time NCAA All-America in 2006.
  • Gabriel Mangabiera (University of Florida): 2004 Brazilian Olympic Team (5th in 100-meter Butterfly); 2004 3-time Brazilian National Champion; South American Record holder in 100-meter Butterfly; 15-time NCAA All-America; SEC Champion, 100 Back, 2003; Florida school record holder in 100 Back and as member of 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 800 free relay, 200 medley relay & 400 medley relay teams.
  • Carlos Jayme (University of Florida): From to 2001-2004 a 26-time NCAA Al- America (most All-America citations in Florida men's swimming history); 2001 SEC Freshman-of-the-Year; 2003 SEC Champion, 100 Free; Florida school record holder in 50 Free, 100 Free,; and as member of 200 free relay, 400 free relay & 400 medley relay teams.
  • Scott Schultz (University of Florida): 2003-2004 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winner; 3-time NCAA All-America; 2-time SEC Academic Honor Roll.
  • Hendrik Odendaal (University of Florida): 2001 & 2002 NCAA All-America; Champion in South African National Championships; Member of 2002 South African Commonwealth Games Team.
  • Leah Martindale (University of Florida): 2001 & 2002 NCAA All-America; Member of 2001 Barbados World Championship Team.
  • Mary Shell Brosche (Davidson College): 1997, 1998, 1999 & 2000 Southern States triple event individual Champion; Female Swimmer of the Meet 3 years.
  • Yann deFabrique (University of North Carolina): 1992 French Olympic Team; placed 14th in 400-meter free in Barcelona; 1993 French National Champion in 400-meter free; 1993 World University Games 200-meter free Champion, representing France; 1993 European Championships in 200-meter & 400-meter freestyles for France; 200 Fly at 1993 NCAAs 6th Place; 200 Free at 1993 NCAAs 9th Place 500 Free at 1993 NCAAs 11th Place Member of 4th-place 800 Free Relay Team at 1993 NCAAs
  • David Monasterio (University of North Carolina): 1992 Puerto Rico Olympic Team in Barcelona; 1992 NCAAs: 10th in 200 Fly, 10th in 500 Free; 1992 ACCs-Champion in 500 Free and in 200 Fly; Member of 4th place 800 Free Relay Team at 1993 NCAAs.

 •James Hamrick (University of North Carolina):  1993 U.S. Team in World University Games in 400-meter freestyle; 1993 NCAAs, 5th in 500 Free, 8th in 1650 Free, 12th in 200 Free; Member of 4th place 800 Free Relay Team at 1993 NCAAs;  1992 NCAAs 6th in 500 Free, 10th in 1650 Free.

  • Carrie Szulc (University of North Carolina): At 1993 World University Games 5th Place in 400 IM representing U.S.; 1993 NCAAs 8th in 400 IM; 1992 NCAAs 6th in 400 IM; 1992 ACCs - Champion in 200 IM & 400 IM.
  • John Davis (University of North Carolina): 11-time ACC Individual event champion, 1988-1991.
  • Gary Gauch (University of North Carolina): 1989 NCAAs, 13th in 100 Breast; 1991 ACC Champion in 100 Breast; 1990 ACC Champion in 100 Breast,

 •Melissa Douse (University of North Carolina): 1991 NCAAs - Member of 6th-place & 9th-place Free Relays; 1991 ACC Champion in 100 Free; 1990 NCAAs - Member of 4th-place & 5th-place Free Relays.

  • Sarah Perroni (University of North Carolina): 1991 NCAAs - Member of 6th-pace & 9th- place Free Relays; 1990 NCAAs - 8th place in 100 Free, 14th place in 50 Free; 1990 NCAAs - Member of 4th-place & 5th-place Free Relays.

 •Polly Winde (University of North Carolina):  1982-1985 Multiple NCAA & U.S. Swimming Nationals individual finalist; 1983 U.S. Pan American Games Team Member.

  • Sue Walsh (University of North Carolina): From 1981-1984 an 11-time AIAW and NCAA Champion (10 individual, 1 relay); Was once an American Record Holder in 50-meter backstroke, 100-meter backstroke, 100-yard backstroke; NCAA Top 5 Award Winner. Currently holds the U.S. Masters records in the 50-yard and 50-meter freestyle, along with the World Masters record in the 50-meter free for her age group.

Rich DeSelm’s Year-By-Year Coaching Ledger


Assistant Coach—Men’s Swimming & Diving Team             

Year                 Overall      ACC           ACC Finish   NCAA Finish
1978-79            5-5             3-1              2nd                  25th

1979-80            8-4             5-1              2nd                  22nd

1980-81            8-2             4-1              2nd                  20th

1981-82            6-3             3-2              2nd                  24th

1982-83            5-3             3-1              1st                   21st

1983-84            8-4             4-1              2nd                  17th

1984-85            4-4             3-2              3rd                   36th

1985-86            5-3             4-2              2nd                  31st

1986-87            6-4             4-2              3rd

1987-88            9-1             5-0              1st                   19th

1988-89            8-2             4-1              1st                   39th

1989-90            11-2           6-0              2nd                  30th

1990-91            9-1             5-0              1st                   21st

1991-92            9-2             5-2              3rd                   18th

1992-93            10-4           6-1              1st                   14th

Totals              111-44       64-17          5 Titles           10 Top 25 Finishes

Assistant Coach—Women’s Swimming & Diving Team

Year                 Overall      ACC           ACC Finish   NCAA Finish

1978-79            7-1             2-1              2nd                  5th

1979-80            7-2             3-1              2nd                  7th

1980-81            7-1             3-1              1st                   3rd

1981-82            11-0           5-0              1st                   3rd

1982-83            9-1             4-0              1st                   6th

1983-84            9-0             5-0              1st                   5th

1984-85            6-2             4-1              1st                   12th

1985-86            8-0             6-0              1st                   16th

1986-87            8-2             5-1              2nd                  9th

1987-88            8-3             3-2              2nd                  19th

1988-89            9-2             4-1              2nd                  36th

1989-90            11-1           5-0              2nd                  15th

1990-91            10-1           5-0              1st                   20th

1991-92            12-0           7-0              1st                   14th

1992-93            10-2           5-1              1st                   16th

Totals              132-18       66-9            9 Titles           14 Top 25 Finishes


Head Men’s and Women’s Coach

DeSelm’s men’s dual meet record in seven seasons (1993-2000) was 26-40. His women’s teams were 21-44-1. He was the Southern States Coach of the Year for men’s swimming in 1995, and he received the honor for women’s swimming each year from 1997 to 2000. During his tenure, the men’s teams won three Southern States Championships, and the women’s teams won four. Davidson placed in the top 10 at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships seven times in eight years. DeSelm coached 22 all-conference performers, including 11 individual event winners.


Assistant Coach—Men’s Swimming & Diving Team

Year                 Overall      SEC            SEC Finish    NCAA Finish

2000-01            9-5             0-3              3rd                   5th

2001-02            10-4           4-3              2nd                  4th

2002-03            9-3             4-2              2nd                  6th

2003-04            9-2             5-1              2nd                  6th

2004-05            11-1           4-1              2nd                  5th

2005-06            10-3           5-1              2nd                  5th

Totals              58-18         24-11                                  4 Top 5 NCAA Ranks

Women’s Swimming & Diving Team                                         

Year                 Overall      SEC            SEC Finish    NCAA Finish

2000-01            12-2           3-1              3rd                   8th

2001-02            12-2           2-1              1st                   7th

2002-03            12-1           5-1              2nd                  5th

2003-04            11-2           5-2              3rd                   4th

2004-05            9-2             3-2              3rd                   4th

2005-06            11-2           5-2              3rd                   10th

Totals              67-11         26-9            1 SEC Title    3 Top 5 NCAA Ranks


Head Coach Designate—Men’s Swimming & Diving Team

Year                 Overall      ACC           ACC Finish   NCAA Finish

2006-07            5-3             4-1              3rd                   27th                               

Head Coach Designate—Women’s Swimming & Diving Team

Year                 Overall      ACC           ACC Finish   NCAA Finish

2006-07            8-1             5-0              1st                   30th


Head Coach—Men’s Swimming & Diving Team

Year                 Overall      ACC           ACC Finish   NCAA Finish

2007-08            6-2             4-0              2nd                  29th

2008-09            6-3             4-1              3rd                   26th

2009-10            10-1           6-1              2nd                  15th

2010-11            8-1             4-1              2nd                  14th

2011-12            7-2             6-1              3rd                   14th

Totals              37-9           24-4                                    3 Top 15 Finishes      

Head Coach—Women’s Swimming & Diving Team

Year                 Overall      ACC           ACC Finish   NCAA Finish

2007-08            6-3             3-1              2nd                  32nd

2008-09            6-3             4-1              2nd                  20th

2009-10            9-2             6-1              2nd                  20th

2010-11            7-2             4-1              2nd                  Tied 23rd

2011-12            7-2             6-1              2nd                  19th

Totals              36-12         23-5                                    4 Top 25 Finishes

Position: Head Swimming Coach
Experience: 10 Years
Phone: 919-966-5340
Email: richdeselm@uncaa.unc.edu
UNC North Carolina Swimming & Diving

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