In his 18th year, assistant coach Andy Robins talks about his life as a coach.
It's seems like only yesterday that Andy Robins was joining the coaching staff at Florida State University, but Neil Harper's top aide starts his tenth season in the Garnet and Gold with the onset of the 2004-05 campaign.
An invaluable component in the rise of Florida State swimming and diving, Robins' contribution to the program were rewarded in 2003 as he was elevated to the position of associate head coach. In addition to his on-deck duties, Robins' responsibilities include recruiting, organizing team workouts, performance data, team travel and home meet management.
Since Robins arrival in 1995, Florida State has only had one sub- .500 season with 125 dual meet victories. At the ACC Championships, the men have finished no lower than fourth with four runner-up finishes, while over the last three seasons the women have posted a trio of third-place finishes.
On the deck his primary duty is to focus on the sprinters, a group that has been very successful over the years. Overall, 20
Florida State sprinters have earned All-ACC honors with three Seminoles going on to capture NCAA All-America accolades. All three of the men's All-America 200 and 400 free style relays (1996, 1998 & 1999) happened under Robins' watch, as did the women's 200 and 400 free relay teams in 2000.
Of the stable of talented pupils that Robins has coached, the most recent to earn All-America honors was Christy Cech as she took home national accolades in the 50 free in 2001 and 2002. Other Seminole All-Americans who have worked with Robins include Stephan Parry, Julio Santos and Anne Blachford.
Out of the possible 40 top times in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle, 34 of the times have been recorded with Robins on the staff. Last season saw two swimmers move up on the top ten list as Emma Dutton--the ACC champion in the 50 free in 2004--jumped up to number two all-time, while senior Emily Breen entered the 50 free at number nine and fourth in the 100 free.
Another one of Robins' rising stars is junior Joel Roycik. The 2004 ACC champion in the 100 butterfly, he competed in three events at the NCAA Championships, including the 50 and 100 freestyles.
Even prior to his graduation from college, Robins has been actively involved in coaching and his involvement with local swimming and diving dates back nearly 20 years. His association with swimming in the Big Bend began in 1985 when he took a position with the Area Tallahassee Aquatic Club. Robins took over the head coaching duties for ATAC in 1993 and led the squad to a top ten finish at the 1996 Junior National Championships.
In conjunction with his work with ATAC, Robins served as the head coach at Leon High School in Tallahassee from 1986-91. After only his second year on the job he was named High School Coach of the Year by the Tallahassee Democrat.
He also served as head coach for the Florida All-Star Team in 1990 and 1991 after spending the previous two seasons as an assistant coach. Away from the pool Robins served on the Florida Swimming Board of Directors, the House of Delegates and the Technical Planning Committee from 1987-98.
A 1983 graduate of The College of William & Mary with a bachelor's in psychology, he earned his master's in science education from Florida State in 1987. While in college, Robins swam both the backstroke and distance freestyle events. His swimming accomplishments at William and Mary include setting the school record in the 1650 freestyle while also serving as co-captain.
The 44-year-old Robins and his wife Karen have four children, Beth (26), Kurt (25), Jenna (19) and Annemarie (8).
ROBINS' COACHING RESUME: 2002-present: Associate Head Coach, Florida State 1995-2001: Assistant Coach, Florida State 1993-97: Head Coach, ATAC 1990-91: Head Coach, Florida All-Stars 1989: Assistant Coach, Florida All-Stars 1986-91: Head Coach, Leon High School 1985-92: Assistant Coach, ATAC