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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The swimming world should be jealous of Gregg Troy.

Every day when he goes to practice he gets to watch Michael Phelps and former Gator Ryan Lochte - considered to be the two best swimmers in the world - go at it. And they have to listen to Troy.

After being named an assistant for the USA men's swimming team at the Beijing Olympics, UF's swimming coach has left Gainesville to travel with the team as they get ready for the summer games.

"It's pretty interesting," Troy said of watching and coaching the two top swimmers. "You get the two fastest guys in the same event, and they're both real competitive guys. They get along well. You get the two of them side by side, and it's pretty dynamic."

But it won't be easy to get back. Last year, the Gators' season began on Oct. 11, and, if Troy doesn't return until after the Olympics are through, he won't be back until late August. So for UF's sake thank goodness he has faith in his staff.

"We're really fortunate," Troy said. "We've got a great staff. It puts more of a burden on the assistants, but they've come through."

On the other hand, saying you've coached Olympic athletes certainly helps the recruiting pitch. This isn't Troy's first international cup of tea, either. He was the head coach for the U.S. at the World Championships in 2001 and the Pan American games in 1995 and 1999. He was also an assistant for the women's team at the 1996 games in Atlanta.

So when college swimmers hear criticism from Troy, they should probably listen.

"It gives you a great perspective to see what you have to do to compete at this level," he said. "You see some pretty amazing things on a day-to-day basis."

And when he tells a young hopeful that they have what it takes, they just might, too.

"It helps a lot when you come back sometimes you look at the group you have at home and you realize there's an awful lot of talent out there," he said. "It clarifies the talent you have."

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