Dave Doolin enters his third year as the head swimming and diving coach at Transylvania for the 2019-20 season.
Since his arrival at Transylvania in the summer of 2017, Doolin has quickly constructed a championship-caliber program that continues a steady regional rise and through the HCAC.
In his most recent season as the head coach of the Pioneers, Doolin guided the Pioneer women’s swimming and diving team to six head-to-head victories over opponents while spurring the Pioneers to a combined win in conference competition versus Anderson. A promising 2019 season culminated in junior Sarah Haerle repeating as the women’s 200 breaststroke conference champion at the 2019 HCAC Championships in Terre Haute while junior Mattie Fogle delivered her first individual championship in the women’s 1650 freestyle event.
Doolin also displayed his fostering of the men’s program with sophomore Drew Dodds eclipsing a new program record in the men’s 200 breaststroke, setting a new record time of 2:06.99 in the prelims. The 2019 HCAC Championships were a watershed week for the Pioneers, who recorded a slew of top-4 finishes under Doolin to signify the latest steps in the ascent of the program.
Before coming to Transylvania in 2018, Doolin coached at nearby Tates Creek High School in Lexington where he completed a decorated seven-year career.
Doolin enjoyed a budding first year at Transylvania that included the successes of multiple underclassmen, including sophomore Sarah Haerle, who captured the HCAC Championship in the women’s 200-yard breaststroke and the women’s 100-yard breaststroke, and earning All-HCAC First Team honors. Eight other Pioneers in addition received All-HCAC postseason recognition during Doolin’s first season with the Pioneers.
Under Doolin’s guidance, the Pioneers women’s swim team placed third at the inaugural HCAC Championship in 2018 and posted the highest GPA of all Division III women’s swim teams in the country last season.
While with Tates Creek, Doolin also coached the Lexington Dolphins swim team, a Lexington-based nonprofit club for swimmers aged 6-18 sanctioned by USA Swimming. Past swimmers with the Dolphins have gone on to compete at regional and national levels, including USA Junior Nationals, USA Nationals, and U.S. Olympic Trials. Doolin has served in a coaching capacity with the Dolphins since 1999.
Doolin’s resume illustrates a pattern of developing swimmers to their highest potential, a blueprint he aspires to replicate at Transylvania. “Each swimmer is an individual, and I’m going to give every individual what they need to succeed, and that will be different for everybody,” Doolin describes as one of his core philosophies. “I consider myself a swimmer’s coach and I want to get the best out of each of them.”
Swimmers who have trained under Doolin have competed at the 2000, 2008, and 2012 US Olympic trials.
Prior to his tenure with Tates Creek High School, Doolin was the head swimming coach at Lexington’s Paul Laurence Dunbar High School from 2002-2007.
As a high school swimming coach, Doolin’s efforts have earned him the Kentucky Swimming Coach of the Year award in 2001, the Kentucky State High School Girls Coach of the Year award in 2017, the Region 8 Girls Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2016, the Region 8 Boys Coach of the Year in 2016, and the State High School Boys Coach of the Year in 2005. Since 2001, Doolin has won seven Kentucky regional coach of the year awards.
Doolin’s wide range of involvement with swimming in the state of Kentucky entails serving on the Kentucky Swimming Board of Directors since 2001. As part of the board, Doolin has worked in an assortment of roles, including program operations, coaches’ representative, program development, and as a Senior Vice-Chair from 2010 until 2016. At the conclusion of his tenure as Vice-Chair, Doolin transitioned into another tour of duty as a coaches’ representative.
Doolin holds memberships with USA Swimming, the American Swimming Coaches Association, and the National Interscholastic Swim Coach Association.