In his 12 seasons as UC San Diego head coach, Scott McGihon has brought great success to the Tritons' swimming and diving teams. McGihon, a 1990 graduate of UC Irvine, was a four-year varsity swimmer for the Anteaters. In 1993, he graduated from the University of Utah College of Law, and in 1994, took over the Beach Swim Club in Long Beach.
In 1996, he accepted a position as men's assistant coach at the University of Utah, before moving on to the women's program at the University of Iowa in 1997 as an assistant. After a one-year tenure with the seventh-place Lady Hawkeyes of the Big Ten, McGihon accepted the head men's and women's position at UC San Diego.
McGihon is a Level 5 ASCA coach, which is the highest level of certification for coaches in the United States. In 1999, he was named both the men's and women's swimming Coach of the Year at the Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Championships. Since then, he has been named either the Men's or Women's Coach of the Year an additional four times.
On the men's side, McGihon has helped produce four Olympic Trials standards, 11 individual NCAA national championships, 65 individual All-Americans, 10 relays named All-American, eight UCSD Athletes of the Year, the 1999 and 2004 PCSC Swimmer of the Year, the 2000 GTE Academic All-American of the Year, 2008 NCAA Division II National Championship Male Swimmer of the Meet, and the 2004-05 NCAA Division II National Swimmer of the Year. Currently the Tritons in McGihon's men's program hold 25 of the 27 school records and one NCAA record. Since McGihon assumed the head coaching position at UCSD, the Tritons have finished in the top-15 nationally every year on the men's side. The squad has recorded four top-5 performances.
On the women's side, the Tritons under McGihon's watch have had the 2000 NCAA Swimmer of the Year, 2003-04 and 2004-05 NCAA Woman of the Year, six U.S. Nationals standards, 18 individual NCAA national champions, four relay NCAA champions, one Olympic Trials standard, 70 individual All-Americans, 21 relay All-Americans and 16 UCSD Athletes of the Year. Currently the athletes in McGihon's women's program hold all 27 school records and two NCAA records. In the past 12 seasons with McGihon at the helm, the women's squad has finished in the top-5 nationally each and every season.
This past school year, 2009-10, featured plenty of impressive performances from the UCSD squad. Two Tritons were crowned as NCAA champions, with the men's squad finishing seventh overall for the third-straight year and the women taking third for the seventh time in eight years. On the men's side, Daniel Perdew captured titles in the 50 and 100 free to finish with a total of five national championships in his collegiate career. For the women, Alex Henley won individual titles in the 400 IM and 200 fly, while finishing as runner-up in the 200 IM and 200 back. The Tritons sent a total of 28 student-athletes, 14 men and 14 women, to the Division II Championships held in Canton, Ohio. Earlier in the season, UCSD secured the Pacific Collegiate Swimming Conference championships for the second-straight season. The PCSC Swimmer of the Meet awards were given to Tritons' Chris Baier and Henley.
The Tritons put together another successful season in 2008-09 and for his help leading the squad, McGihon was named Pacific Coast Swimming and Diving Coach of the Year. Facing top Division I competition at the Nike Cup, UCSD finished fourth overall on the women's side and fifth on the men's side. Both squads would then win the PCSC Championships at Long Beach, recapturing the conference titles they last won in 2007. UCSD sent 26 student-athletes to the NCAA Division II National Championships in Houston, Texas. There, Perdew and Kendall Bohn would repeat as national champions. Perdew set an NCAA record while winning the 100 freestyle while Bohn picked up the 200 breastroke in fairly comfortable fashion. The women piled up 425 points over the course of the event to finish third, matching their best finish at the D-II level. The men scored 221.5 points to place seventh overall, matching their 2008 performance.
In his first year, McGihon led the Tritons to a pair of team championships in the Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference, the first-ever league titles for UCSD. The following year, UCSD turned in an outstanding farewell performance at the NCAA Division III Championships, and in 2000-01, the teams made a successful debut in the NCAA D-II, with the women finishing third and the men's squad finishing eighth. At the 2004-05 NCAA Championships, McGihon directed the women's team to a third-place finish and a Division II best fourth-place finish for the men's squad.
McGihon resides in San Diego, Calif., with his wife Kristi and sons Chase and Blake. Kristi was an alternate for the 2002 USA Bobsled Olympic Team, as well as a member of the USA Track and Field National Team from 1994-1998.