Sept. 27, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.–Olympic gold medalist and former UVa swimming standout Matt McLean (Class of 2011) has joined the Virginia swimming and diving staff as a volunteer assistant coach, Cavalier head coach Mark Bernardino announced Thursday (Sept. 27).
“There is no way in words to express what Matt means to me personally and to our program,” Bernardino said. “He is one of the greatest athletes in any sport to compete for the University of Virginia. To have him on our pool deck interacting with our team, teaching the lessons of discipline and hard work and showing them how to sacrifice to be all you can possibly be, should only help to elevate our student-athletes now and into the future.”
McLean was a member of the United States’ men’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay that won gold in London on July 31. He was one of three Cavaliers to win gold this summer, joining senior swimmer Lauren Perdue (Greenville, N.C.), who won with the U.S. women’s 4x200m free relay, and Becky Sauerbrunn (Class of 2007) of the U.S. women’s soccer squad.
“It’s not only great to be back in the area, but it’s great to back with such a positive group of athletes,” McLean said. “They’re a great group to work with and I’m hoping to take everything I’ve learned and relay it to them and help the team improve.”
The Sterling, Va., native graduated with a degree in sociology in 2011 and as one of UVa’s most decorated student-athletes. McLean won the 2011 NCAA Championship in the 500-yard freestyle and was a 15-time All-American at UVa. A 17-time Atlantic Coast Conference Champion, he was the ACC Swimmer of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
McLean has also made a splash outside the pool, donating his time and effort to multiple charities, including the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation, where he was named the Work the Dream Grant recipient for 2011-12, and the Jessie Rees Foundation, which helps children dealing with cancer and other terminal illnesses.