MU Appoints Swim Teams’ Head Coach

In November, Monmouth University Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Marilyn McNeil, after consulting with the University’s Trustees, announced that the men’s and women’s swimming programs would be reintroduced as NCAA Division I sports at the school. Today, Monmouth has announced that Monmouth County native Matt Nunnally, who has coached at the Division I level for 20 years, has been appointed the head coach of the reintroduced men’s and women’s swimming programs.

McNeil stated, “We are excited to have Matt join the Monmouth family. He has wonderful Shore roots, plus the excellent Division I experience to allow him to lead our swimming program into its successful future.”

A native of Avon by the Sea, Nunnally comes to Monmouth after spending 15 seasons as the head coach of the men’s and women’s swim teams at his alma mater, La Salle University. After a distinguished career as a student-athlete at La Salle, Nunnally returned to his alma mater in 1999 after serving five years as an assistant coach at Seton Hall University.

During the 2008-09 season, Nunnally coached the men’s and women’s teams to a No. 21 ranking in the Mid-Major Division I polls. Three years prior, during the 2005-06 season, he led the men’s team to a No. 25 national ranking in the final polls, climbing as high as number 13. In 2010, the men’s team was ranked as high as 12 in the CSCAA Mid-Major Poll. Aside from keeping his teams competitive in the pool, Nunnally has also coached numerous Academic All-America teams while at La Salle.

Since 2010, 30 school records have fallen at La Salle and 10 Atlantic 10 champions have been crowned under Nunnally’s command, while he was named the 2012 Atlantic 10 Women’s Coach of the Year. At the 2012 Atlantic 10 Champs, Nunnally produced gold medal winners in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke, the 1650, and the men’s 200 medley relay which was also an NCAA “B” cut.

Since his graduation from La Salle, Nunnally, a 27-year veteran lifeguard at Bradley Beach, captured his third National Lifeguarding Championship high point award in Cape May. His previous titles were captured in San Diego (2000) and Cape May (1999).

As a standout lifeguard, Nunnally has been selected to the U.S. National Team and has competed in the Lifeguarding World Championships in Germany (1992), South Africa (1996) and Sydney, Australia (2000). In 2008, Matt was again a member of the U.S. National Team and competed at the World Lifeguarding Championships in Italy.

Nunnally, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from La Salle in 1992, was an integral part of the Explorers swim team that won four straight MAAC Conference Team Championships (1989-92). Individually, he captured both the 200-free and 500-free conference titles and was also a member of several MAAC Championship relay teams. Nunnally also earned an MBA from the University of Mississippi in 1993.

The Hawks, who will begin regular season competition starting in Fall 2015, will join current full Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference members Canisius, Fairfield, Iona, Manhattan, Marist, Niagara, Rider and Saint Peter’s in offering both men’s and women’s swimming. Full MAAC member Siena also has a women’s team, while Bryant is an associate member of the MAAC on the men’s side.

Monmouth has a storied tradition of swimming excellence, featuring gold medal winners at several levels, including the Olympics. Six members of its Athletics Hall of Fame were members of the swimming program, including Coach Richard Steadman, for whom Monmouth’s natatorium is named. The 1974 Monmouth men’s and women’s swimming teams were recently honored as teams of distinction at this year’s Monmouth Athletics Hall of Fame dinner.

The 1974 men’s and women’s swimming teams featured an unprecedented level of team and individual success at Monmouth. The men’s and women’s team each won NAIA & AIAW National Championships and earned seventh place finishes at the NCAA national meet. The squad featured 16 combined All-Americans and 22 qualifiers for the National Championships. 

A combined 30 Monmouth swimming records were set during the 1974 season and the team would feature four future National Champions and one future Olympic Champion in 1976 gold medalist Wendy Boglioli.