Leah Stancil begins her third season as the head coach of the Tulane University swimming and diving program.
In two seasons as head coach, Stancil has laid a strong foundation in elevating the Green Wave swimming and diving program, as Tulane student-athletes have made 20 trips to the medal stand at the American Athletic Conference Championships, while 13 individuals have earned all-league honors. In addition, eight school records have fallen under Stancil's direction.
The 2019-20 season was a memorable year for Tulane, as the Green Wave had two student-athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships for the first time since the program was reinstated in 2003-04. Olivia Johnson and Lilly Byrne both earned qualifying bids to represent Tulane. Between the two individuals, Tulane was set to be represented in three separate events (500 freestyle, 1,650 freestyle events and 400 IM), but neither were able to compete due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Johnson and Byrne received their invitations to NCAA Championships after both individuals posted strong performances at the 2020 American Athletic Conference Championships in Houston.
Byrne made three trips to the medal stand at the AAC Championships en route to becoming the first Tulane swimmer to earn Freshman of the Year honors. She also finished runner-up in the 500 freestyle (4:42.78) and 1,650 freestyle (16:15.69) events. Both performances served as school records.
Johnson qualified for the national meet after she captured her third career gold medal at the AAC Championships by successfully defending her 400 IM title finishing in a school-record time of 4:07.72. She closed the league championships by making three trips to the medal stand.
In addition, Kate Amar, Kate McDonald, Iza Pelka and Jordan Morling each earned all-conference recognition at the AAC Championships.
Stancil made an immediate impact in her first season as head coach, as she helped guide a program-record 11 individuals to the AAC All-Conference Team while the team placed fourth at the conference championship meet. The team's fourth-place finish tied for the program's second-best finish of all-time. In addition, Johnson became the first Tulane swimmer to win a pair of gold medals, as she won the 400 IM and the 1650 freestyle.
Away from pool, Tulane has excelled in the classroom, earning College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America honors in 2019 and 2020.
The team also has played a significant role in the community, working with the local New Orleans Special Olympics organization. In working with the local Special Olympics chapter, the Tulane swimming and diving program plays host to an annual swim meet for Special Olympic athletes.
Stancil arrived at Tulane in August of 2018 and brought a wealth of experience to Uptown campus, having served as an assistant coach for 10 years at the University of Florida, her alma mater. During her time at Florida, Stancil worked with both the men's and women's programs.