The former Georgia Bulldog was an NCAA Champion in college
Neil Versfeld joined the Georgia Tech swimming & diving coaching staff
as an assistant coach in July 2015. He works primarily with the team’s
distance swimmers and also serves as the program’s academic liaison.
A former University of Georgia swimmer, Versfeld is an NCAA Champion, an NCAA record-holder in the 200 breast, and a two-time SEC champion.
In his two years with the Jackets, Versfeld has had a number of Tech swimmers set new school records in Colt Williamson (500 free), Ben Southern (100 fly, 200 fly), Moises Loschi (200 breast), Chiara Ruiu (100 breast, 200 breast, 200 IM) and Kira de Bruyn (400 IM).
He has also sent a Jacket swimmer to the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships in each of his two years on The Flats, as both Loschi and Southern qualified and competed at the 2017 NCAA Championships, while Loschi also qualified for the national championship meet in 2015-16.
Versfeld has also had a number of swimmers set personal best marks in the pool under his tutelage in each of the last two seasons.
In 2016-17, Loschi set new personal-best times in the 100 and 200 breast events, as well as in the 200 and 400 IM events, while Williamson posted new career-best times in the 500 free, 1000 free, 1650 free, 200 back, 200 and 400 IM events. Loschi, who holds the 200 breaststroke record, ranks second all-time in the 100 breast and third in Tech history in both the 1000 and 1650 free events. Williamson, who holds the school record in the 500 free, as the fourth-fastest time in school history in the 1000 free and the fifth-best mark in the 1650 free.
Southern closed out his career with career-best times in both the 100 and 200 fly events, both of which are school records, while newcomers Tim Slanschek and Brennan Day each posted a number of top 10 times in their respective events on the season. At the 2017 ACC Championships, Slanschek recorded the third-fastest time in school history in the 200 fly.
Headlined by Ruiu, who set new personal-best times in both the 200 and 400 IM events, as well as in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events, the women’s team also set the bar high in 2016-17. Senior Camille Felix wrapped up her career at Tech with new career-best marks in the 200 free, 200 fly and 200 IM events in 2016-17, while de Bruyn registered personal-best times in the 100 fly, 200 back and both the 200 and 400 IM events.
A trio of freshmen in Emily Ilgenfritz, Tamir Gonen and Sara al Khatib also had strong seasons in their rookie campaigns in 2016-17, as all three had top 10 times on the season, while Ilgenfritz etched her name in the Tech record books with the second-fastest times in school history in both the 500 and 1000 free events and the third-best time in GT history in the 1650 free.
On the men’s side in 2015-16, Loschi, Williamson and Edwin Zhao all set
personal-best times in the 1000 free and the 1650 free events in 2015-16.
Loschi also etched his name in the Tech record books in both events with
the third best time in the 1650 free and the fourth best time in Tech
history in the 1000 free. Senior Yuval Safra capped off his Tech career
with a career-best time in the 1000 free, which was also the third-best
time in Tech history for the event.
For the women, five different distance swimmers set personal bests times on the year in Lila Best (1000 free), Camille Felix (1000 and 1650 free), Frederique Lefebvre (1000 free), Ruiu (1000 free) and Carly Sweeney (1000 free).
Out of the water and in the classroom, the Yellow Jackets have had a total of 30 swimmers and divers receive CSCAA scholar all-American recognition over the last two years since Versfeld joined the program, headlined by Brad Homza’s first-team selection in 2015-16. Georgia Tech also had four Jackets in Homza, Noah Harasz, Safra and Iris Wang named to the 2015-16 all-ACC academic team, while six Jackets in Andrea Demick, Maddie Paschal, Robert Borowicz, Omar Eteiba, Brian Woodbury and Harasz earned all-academic conference honors in 2016-17.
In 2016-17, Borowicz capped off his four years on The Flats with College
Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) academic all-America men’s
at large third team and all-district 4 honors.
Coming to Georgia Tech from Swim Atlanta, Versfeld served as the program’s head age-group and masters coach for two years from 2013-15 for the program. Prior to that, he spent one year in Durban, South Africa as an assistant coach for the Seals Swimming Club.
Versfeld represented his native country of South Africa at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games where he was a semifinalist in the 200 meter breaststroke event. His international career was also highlighted by a fourth-place finish at the 2010 World Championships in Dubai, and semifinalist showings at both the 2009 World Championships in Rome and the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from UGA, graduating in 2010 after a standout swimming career. Versfeld was a three-time member of the CSCAA academic all-American honor roll and the SEC honor roll.