Roanoke, VA - After a nationwide search, Hollins Director of Athletics Myra Sims is pleased to announce the hiring of Ned Skinner as Head Swim Coach and Director of the Northen Swim Center. Skinner takes over the program after the four-year tenure of Patrick Richardson and will begin the day-to-day operations of the program on August 1.
"I am absolutely thrilled that our current and future Hollins swimmers will enjoy the expertise of an experienced and successful coach like Ned Skinner. When you look at his background, it is clear that Ned is extremely knowledgeable in the technical aspects of the sport. But Ned is also invested in mentoring student-athletes outside of the pool, and in treating each swimmer as an individual," said Sims, who also noted that Skinner brings much more than coaching to Hollins. "Aside from his collegiate coaching experience, Ned has an extensive history with camps, clinics, and private lessons. So he is very well-connected with youth swimmers and coaches in the region and will be able to broaden the reach we have in recruiting for the swim program. I am confident that we are getting a coach who can take Hollins swimming to the next level."
Skinner comes to Hollins after a very distinguished, 20-year coaching career at Virginia Tech. Starting in 1998, Skinner led the Hokies to four conference championships while seeing more than 100 student-athletes turn in All-American performances. In addition to the All-Americans, Skinner coached 50 individual Conference Champions, a trio of Olympians, and a member of the USA National Team. During an eight-year stretch from 2008-2016, Skinner coached five different USA Olympic Trial swimmers that reached the semi-final and final rounds. In 2016-17, Skinner also served as a coach on the United States Swimming National Team staff. In addition to collegiate and national team coaching, Skinner presented at multiple swim camps and clinics as well as various national conventions and conferences. Shortly after arriving at Tech, Skinner founded and served as director of the Maroon and Orange Swim Camps from 2000-2018. In 2004 Skinner earned his Ph.D in Education Curriculum and Instruction at Virginia Tech.
"I am very excited to become a part of Hollins University and serve in the athletics department. I felt an immediate connection with Myra Sims and I am looking forward to working with her as I am appreciative of this opportunity that she has offered me. The opportunity to teach classes and be the Aquatics Director will be enjoyable new challenges for me." On joining the department, "I am also impressed by the other coaches and administrators and I feel a real camaraderie among the staff, which is important to me. The current group of swimmers are eager to get started and I was excited by their unity and commitment to the program."
Prior to coming to Virginia Tech, Skinner served as the Director of Swimming at the College of William & Mary, a position he held from 1994-1998. Ned earned his bachelor's degree at Louisiana State University before pursuing his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Ohio University. Upon receiving his M.S. in Athletic Administration degree at Ohio, Skinner got his first chance to be a head coach at Central Connecticut State University.
After leaving Virginia Tech in the spring of 2018, Skinner went back to his swim instruction roots by taking a volunteer position on the staff at Blacksburg High School. Skinner will continue to reside in the New River Valley with his wife, Allison, and their children, Samantha and Jack. He concluded, "Allison and I have spent over 20 years in the area and we are so pleased to continue to raise our children in the community."