Former SMAC coach Scott Thacker named VMI swimming and diving coach
Scott Thacker was announced Monday as the new head men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach at VMI.
“I am humbled and honored to serve in the role of head coach of men’s and women’s swimming and diving at VMI,” said Thacker. “I want to thank Deputy Athletic Director Lenny Brown and the entire search committee for welcoming me into the VMI Athletics community. VMI’s legacy of offering superb academic and athletic student experiences and commitment to developing world-class leaders is a tradition I am thrilled to be able to contribute to in leading the VMI swimming and diving teams. I look forward to being on post and meeting the team, alumni, and support staff who have laid the foundation for the future of VMI swimming and diving.”
Thacker is coming off a highly successful five-year stint as head mentor of the Roanoke College swimming programs. He helped re-establish the program in 2017 and took the Maroons all the way to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) men’s team title in 2021. He earned the ODAC and All-State men’s Coach of the Year honors in 2021 and also was named the conference’s men’s coach of the year in 2019. The Roanoke women’s team placed second in 2021.
While at Roanoke, Thacker coached the program’s first D3 All-American and the first D3 All-American honorable mention. He had 85 All-ODAC Team selections and 44 conference champions, and his swimmers set five ODAC records. The Maroons’ dual meet record in his tenure was 66-15 and Roanoke was recognized as a CSCAA Scholar All-America Team.
“We are excited to have Scott joining the VMI athletic department and taking the reins of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams,” said VMI Deputy Athletic Director Lenny Brown. “Scott brings with him a wealth of knowledge in the sport, having been an accomplished swimmer in his own right, but also having elevated the Roanoke College swimming program to an immense level of success during his time there. Scott demonstrated early on in the process his passion for swimming and values that are in line with the mission of VMI. We look forward as the swim and dive programs transition to the new aquatic center and the success they will achieve under Scott’s leadership.”
Thacker served as the Director of Competitive Swimming for the Shenandoah Marlins Aquatic Club in Waynesboro prior to his hire at Roanoke. From 2013-15 Thacker was the Associate Director of Competitive Swimming for the Lynchburg YMCA Piranha’s under long-time coach TJ Liston.
Thacker’s coaching career began shortly after his participation in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in July of 2012. A few weeks after assuming the Associate Director of Competitive Swimming position for the Greater Richmond YMCA Tritons, Thacker was promoted to Director of Competitive Swimming.
Prior to coaching, Thacker was a 17-year veteran of competitive swimming. Thacker was the 2005 VHSL state champion in the 100 breaststroke, a three time YMCA national champion, has held multiple Virginia Swimming state records, and was a four year member of the Florida State University men’s swim team.
While at Florida State, Thacker secured top eight finishes in both the 100 and 200 breaststrokes and went on to compete at the NCAA Championships in 2009. Thacker was a member of multiple FSU team relay records, and was the 2010 ACC Champion in the 100 breaststroke. Thacker’s swimming career culminated with his participation in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials where he competed in the 100 breaststroke.