Former Olympian swimmer Gideon Louw is currently serving his fourth year on the Minnesota swimming and diving staff and was promoted to associate head coach in 2017. He works primarily with the sprint freestyle group.
Louw helped engineer a turnaround for the Gopher men’s relays in 2016. After sending no relays to the NCAA Championships in 2015, they sent four in 2016. The 200-yard medley relay collected All-America Honorable Mention accolades. Minnesota qualified all five relays in 2017, with the 400 freestyle relay receiving All-America Honorable Mention.
Bowe Becker qualified for NCAAs individually in both his first two seasons, racing in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races. Becker also broke the short course school record in the 100 and the long course record in the 50. The 400 free and 400 medley relays broke records during the 2017 season.
Outside of collegiate coaching, Louw also works with Olympic hopefuls. Minnesota alumnus David Plummer, who trained with Louw leading up to the 2016 Olympics, won a bronze medal in the 100-meter backstroke and a gold medal with the United States' 400-meter medley relay.
Louw came to Minnesota after serving two seasons as a graduate assistant at Florida State, where he provided planning and implementation of workouts and provided analysis and instruction of swimming techniques, among other duties. While at FSU, Louw helped the Seminole men to a 14th place finish at the 2014 NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas.
Prior to joining the coaching staff at Florida State, Louw represented South Africa at the London 2012 Olympic Games, where he finished fifth overall as a member of the 400-meter freestyle relay and ninth overall individually in the 50-meter freestyle. Louw also competed at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, where he finished 12th overall in the 50-meter freestyle.
At the collegiate level, Louw played an integral role in helping Auburn claim its eighth NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championship as a junior in 2009. That season, Louw was a three-time NCAA Champion as a member of the 200 free relay, 400 medley relay and 200 medley relay teams, with his 200 medley relay team breaking the NCAA record with a time of 1:14.08. As a senior in 2010, Louw placed third at the NCAA Championships in the 100 freestyle, while placing second in the 200 medley relay, 200 free relay and 400 medley relay. He also snagged a fifth-place finish in the 50 free.
Louw began his collegiate career at Indian River State College in Ft. Pierce, Fla., where he was a seven-time NJCAA champion in 2008, winning the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 800 free relay and 400 medley relay. For his efforts, he was named NJCAA Swimmer of the Year.
Louw was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 2014 and into the Indian River State College Hall of Fame in 2013. He earned a degree in exercise science from Auburn in 2011 and earned a master's degree in exercise physiology from Florida State in 2014.
He is married to Shanda Louw, a former Division I swimmer herself.
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