The Tennessee Volunteers swept the SEC Swimmer and Diver of the Year honors awarded by the Knoxville News-Sentinel as senior Michael Gilliam was named top swimmer and senior Gabi Chereches was named top diver.
Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington was named SEC Diving Coach of the Year. Senior diver Shannon Roy and Jeremy McDonnell, a junior breaststroke swimmer, were also named to the first-team All-SEC squad.
Chereches won his third straight SEC platform title this past year and earned All-America honors in all three diving events at the recent NCAA Championships. Chereches, who also finished as the SEC runner-up in 3-meter diving, was named the diving performer of the 2001 SEC meet.
Gilliam captured the NCAA Championship in the 100 backstroke and won seven total All-America honors. At the NCAA meet Gilliam set the school record in the 100 backstroke and took part in each of UT's four school-record relay efforts.
At the 2001 SEC Championships, Gilliam was named swimming performer of the meet as he took home his third consecutive SEC 100 back title and tied his own SEC record in that event. Gilliam also helped the Vols set the 200 medley relay American Record at the SEC meet and finished second in the conference in the 100 freestyle.
Parrington won the SEC Men's Diving Coach of the Year award for the fourth straight season and sixth time overall. He has accumulated eight conference coach of the year awards in his illustrious career.
The Vol divers captured two of the three SEC diving crowns this year, including a one-two sweep in the 3-meter event. All three UT divers Chereches, Roy and sophomore Jake Dorsey qualified for the NCAA Zone B Championships. Chereches and Roy both competed at the NCAA Championships and combined to reach a UT-record five finals.
McDonnell won the 2001 SEC 100 breaststroke title and also finished third in the 200 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley. He went on to finish fifth in the NCAA in the 100 breaststroke. McDonnell also served on the American Record-setting 200 medley relay at the SEC Championships as well as the SEC champion 400 freestyle relay. At the NCAA meet, McDonnell took part in all four school-record relays.
Roy won the SEC 3-meter title and also finished fifth in the SEC 1-meter competition. At the NCAA Championships, Roy earned All-America honors in the 1- and 3-meter springboard events with a third-place finish in the 3-meter event and sixth in the 1-meter event.
Making the All-SEC second team for the Vols were Justin Hoggatt (butterfly), Chris Hussey (sprint relay), Mike Burton (sprint relay), Renato Gueraldi (sprint relay), Greg Simpson (freestyle relay), Zane DeWitz (freestyle relay), Brett Tannhauser (freestyle relay), Andrew Bree (freestyle relay) and Brent Owen (medley relay).