June 24, 2014
DALLAS (SMU) - Carol Gwin has been named head coach of the SMU equestrian program, SMU Director of Athletics Rick Hart announced today. Gwin takes over the program on the Hilltop after four seasons as an assistant at two-time national champion South Carolina.
"I want to say how excited Shaun and I are for this wonderful opportunity to become part of the SMU family," Gwin stated. "I'd like to thank Dr. Turner along with Rick Hart and Kris Harris for giving me the opportunity to lead the equestrian program.
"Over the course of the last few weeks, I've gotten the chance to see how committed they are to the success of our team and student-athletes, and that's one of the main factors that made this such an easy decision for me. We have a very talented group of riders here and it's going to be our goal to continue to build on that and elevate this program to where it needs to be."
Gwin served as the hunt seat coach, and also directed the program's equitation over fences squad. During her tenure with the Gamecocks, Gwin led her teams to a 51-19 hunt seat record and a 50-20 mark in equitation over fences. During the 2013-14 season, South Carolina's hunt seat team posted a perfect 18-0 record.
Overall, Gwin helped lead the Gamecocks to the inaugural SEC championship in 2013. South Carolina successfully defended its SEC title in 2014 and finished as the national runner-up. She coached five student-athletes to eight All-SEC Team honors in the past two seasons, and Katherine Schmidt was named Most Outstanding Player at the 2014 NCEA National Championships in equitation over fences, as well as Rider of the Year in the SEC under Gwin's guidance.
Gwin is a graduate of Mary Washington College in Virginia after four years on the IHSA team, where she competed in the open division. She began her coaching career at Sweet Briar College, leading the program for four years before going to Radford University.
She set up her own business at Walnut Spring Stables, establishing a premiere hunter/jumper boarding and lesson facility on a 750 acre farm in Blacksburg, Va. Gwin is a past president of the SWVHJA, a member of the USHJA and USEF, and has judged locally throughout Virginia over the past twenty years. She is currently serving as the chairwoman of the NCEA promotions committee.