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Saturday 02/22
SEC Championships - Day Five
Swim & Dive
Friday 02/21
SEC Championships - Day Four
Swim & Dive
Thursday 02/20
SEC Championships - Day Three
Swim & Dive
Wednesday 02/19
SEC Championships - Day Two
Swim & Dive
Tuesday 02/18
SEC Championships - Day One
Swim & Dive
Saturday 02/01
Vanderbilt
83
Swim & Dive
203
Saturday 02/01
Kansas
91
Swim & Dive
207
   
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Position:
Head Coach Jeff Poppell
Courtesy: Arkansas

Jeff Poppell completed his sixth season as head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks swimming and diving team. Poppell has guided a steadily improving program over the years, most recently leading his team to its top College Swimming Coaches Association of America national ranking of 17th during the 2010-11 season, after rankings of 19th in 2009 and 2010. The Razorbacks entered the Top 25 ranks in 2008 for the first time in 16 years.

At the helm of Arkansas' swimming program, Poppell has a 40-17 record in dual meets, and has never had a losing season. He coached Arkansas to its best finishes in the Southeastern Conference since joining the league in 1992. The Hogs finished sixth in the conference championships in 2012, eighth in 2011, sixth in 2010, a program-best fifth in 2009, and seventh in 2008.

In 2012, the Razorbacks made serious improvements in the pool. The 2011-12 Razorback squad combined to post six new records in the Arkansas record books. The season was highlighted with junior Chelsea Franklin and sophomore Nicole Menzel qualifying for NCAA's. Franklin would go on to earn All-America honors for the second-consecutive year after competing in the 1,650 free.

The Razorbacks also showcased their talent in the classroom after earning a fifth-place national ranking by the CSCAA for their academic performance as a team. The Razorbacks were named a Scholar All-America team for the 2011-12 season and Franklin earned Scholar All-America honors with nine other Razorbacks earning honorable mention.

The 2011 campaign was marked by an impressive regular season in which the Razorbacks went 9-2 overall, with a 2-1 record in the SEC, and won the Purdue Invitational.  Poppell helped senior Jamie Marks and sophomore Chelsea Franklin reach the NCAA Championships, with Franklin placing seventh in the 1650 freestyle to earn All-America honors.  Junior Jilliene Schilling earned her first facility record in the 400 IM, and standout freshman Kesha Naylor charged into the Razorback record book with top five finishes in each of the three diving events, including the top score on the three meter and the platform. The 2011 Razorbacks set seven school event records and placed 30 performances on the school's all-time top five record lists.

The 2010 season saw the storied career of swimmer Yi-Ting Siow come to a close. Siow became the first Razorback swimmer to win back-to-back SEC titles, claiming her second SEC championship title in the 200 breaststroke. The three-time Olympian became only the fourth SEC swimmer to win back-to-back titles in the event since 1981.

Since 2008, Poppell has guided 14 athletes to the NCAA Championships, and helped nine earn All-America honors. 2009 was a standout year, as five swimmers qualified for the NCAA's, four were named All-Americans, and Siow placed fourth in the 200 breaststroke, the highest NCAA Championships finish for a swimmer in Razorback history.

Poppell's student-athletes consistently prove to be among the top scholastic performers in the country. Since 2008, the Razorbacks have garnered 23 Academic All-America honors, including a program record 10 in 2011. Graduate assistant Stephanie Carr earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American team accolades in 2008 and 2009.

Under Poppell's leadership, the team has ranked in the top 10 in the nation for highest grade point average in all of Division I swimming and diving programs.  The 2011 Razorbacks were 25th in the nation with a 3.43 grade point average, second in the SEC. The 2010 Hogs were ninth in the nation according to CSCAA with a 3.51 GPA, and the 2009 team was eighth at 3.48.  The Razorbacks' top CSCAA GPA ranking under Poppell was fourth, in 2008. From 2008 to 2010, Arkansas had the highest team GPA in the SEC.

The SEC has honored 57 of Poppell's Hogs since 2007 for their academic success, including 16 swimmers making the SEC Honor Roll this past season. In 2010 the SEC Academic Honor Roll included 15 swimmers from UA, and the 2009 list honored twelve. The Razorbacks had seven freshmen honored by the SEC for their academics in 2011, three in 2010, and nine a year earlier. Four of Poppell's Hogs have been named to the SEC Community Service Team along with one selected as the recipient of the Brad Davis SEC Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship.

Under the direction of Poppell, the Razorbacks finished second for the 2010 Lee Spencer Cup, an award which recognizes the UA athletic team most dedicated to Razorback excellence, integrity in areas of academics, athletics, leadership and personal development as well as service and team spirit.

Poppell's 2011 recruiting class was ranked 14th in the nation by collegeswimming.com, including the 38th-ranked prospect in the nation Susanna White, and four of the top 150.  In his second year as head coach (2007-08), Poppell's recruiting class ranked fifth in the nation by CollegeSwimming.com. Four of the recruits from that class, Jamie Marks, Erica Totten, Katie Kastes and Ashley Largo, were named to CollegeSwimming.com's Top 100 Recruits list. Marks and Kastes went on to earn All-America honors during their careers. In 2008, the Razorbacks boasted the 21st-ranked recruiting class in the country.

In 2009, Poppell took the roll as head women's coach for Team USA at the World Maccabiah Games in Israel. He was also a USA Swimming National Team coach from 2005-08. During his coaching days with the national teams, Poppell coached three swimmers who competed at the 2009 FINA World Swimming Championships in Rome, and two who competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He guided two swimmers to three gold medals, one silver, two bronze and three event records at the Southeast Asian Games.

Prior to Arkansas, Poppell spent 13 years at one of the country's most prominent high schools and club swimming programs. While at the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla., he served as an assistant and head coach of the Bolles School and the Bolles School Sharks. He led the Sharks to a top-five finish at the 2006 Spring U.S. National Championships where the men's 4x200 freestyle relay team won the national title and swimmer Omar Pinzon became the national champion in the men's 200 backstroke.

During the 2005-06 season, Poppell guided the Bolles High School men's team to its 18th consecutive Florida high school state championship. The same year, Poppell's women's team earned its 15th consecutive state title. The men's swimming team went on to be crowned National Prep School Champions and capture second place at the Men's National High School Championships.

Poppell spent from 2002-06 as the Bolles School head coach, where he guided four female swimmers that ranked in the top 25 in the world and seven who were among the top 100 in the world. He coached 17 Bolles Sharks that competed in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, two U.S. National Champions, five who competed in the U.S. National Championships or U.S. Olympic Trials and the NISCA National High School Female Swimmer of the Year. Forty-two of Poppell's swimmers during 2002-06 competed at the U.S. National Championships and 12 reached finals and medaled at major international competitions, including four gold medals at the Southeast Asian Games and two silvers at the European Championships.

In 2005, Poppell was the NFHS Florida High School Men's Coach of the Year and was on the Florida High School Athletic Coaches Association Steroid Advisory Committee from 2005-06. 2004 brought NHSCA Coach of the Year and Florida Dairy Farmers High School Coach of the Year accolades for his work with the girl's team at Bolles.

As a student-athlete at University of Georgia, Poppell was a four-year letterwinner and team captain for the Bulldogs' swimming team. He qualified for NCAA's twice and was an Honorable Mention All-SEC and academic All-SEC honoree. He earned one gold, one silver and two bronze medals while competing at the 1993 Maccabiah Games. He was the honoree and recipient of Georgia's Jeff Poppell Award for Leadership and Overall Contribution to the University of Georgia.

A 1993 graduate of the University of Georgia, Poppell and his wife, Joanna, have two children, Jack and Jenna.


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