Shari Skabelund
Swimming Head Coach
(801) 422-8302
RB 149

Pronunciation: "Share-ee Skab-lund"

Coaching Career

  • BYU swimming head coach (2021-)
  • BYU assistant coach (1987-2021)
  • Springville High School (Utah) boy's and girl's head swimming coach (1982-87)
  • Specializes in coaching sprints

Coaching Accomplishments

  • Coached BYU men's swimmers Jared Shaw (2019-20) and Payton Sorenson (2015-16) to All-American honors
  • MPSF Coach of the Year (2021-22)
  • Coached BYU swimmers to 17 MPSF Championships (2022-23)
  • Led Springville High School girl's swimming to back-to-back 3A state titles (1985-86)

Swimming Career

  • Competed for BYU (1977-80)
  • BYU's first female swimmer to complete four years of eligibility
  • AIAW Region 18 Champion (100 individual medley, 1978)
  • AIAW Region 18 Champion (100 butterfly, 1980)
  • Advanced to AIAW Nationals (1978, 1979)


  • Husband's name is Grant, they have four kids


BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe has named Shari Skabelund head coach for the BYU swim and dive team.

"After six months of evaluation, we have been pleased with Shari’s development and all she has done as interim head coach," Holmoe said. "At this time we are removing the interim title and naming her our head coach.”

Skabelund has been acting as interim head coach since April 2021. She started coaching at BYU as a part-time, women’s team assistant to coach Stan Crump in 1987, and other than taking a year off (1990-91) to have daughter Natalya, she has been with the Cougars ever since. After the men's and women's programs were combined under coach Tim Powers in 2008, Skabelund was invited to lead the Cougars’ sprint group.

Since 2008, under Skabelund's tutelage, BYU swimmers have garnered 28 individual conference titles and four athletes have qualified for the NCAA championships: Hailey Campbell (2012 and 2014), Josue Dominguez (2021), Jared Shaw (2020) and Payton Sorenson (2016, 2017 and 2019). Sorenson placed 14th in the 50-yard freestyle in 2016.

Six of Skabelund's swimmers qualified for the recent 2020 Olympic Trials: Brigham Harrison, Levi Jensen, Shaw, Ryan Sorensen, Sorenson and Connor Stirling. Additionally, Domiguez representing his home country of the Dominican Republic in Tokyo.

"I am honored to have Tom Holmoe and Chad Lewis's trust to lead the incredible individuals who compete on BYU's swim and dive team," Skabelund said. "I love these athletes so much. I am grateful for each member of our coaching staff — Tyce Routson, Yolanda Bates, Tamber McAllister, Shawn King and Rachel Friel — a group of individuals that respects each other and works together to help our athletes get better in the pool and in the classroom."

Before coaching for BYU, Skabelund was head coach of the girls' and boys' swim teams at Springville High School from 1982-87. There, she guided the girls' squad to state 3A titles in 1985 and 1986. 

Skabelund has also served as a head club coach for the Springville Seals (1980-2004) and Utah Valley Aquatics (2004-2021). Three of her club swimmers, Brady Wells (2012), Tanner Nelson (2020) and Harrison (2020), have posted Olympic Trials qualifying times. Both Harrison and Nelson are currently swimming under Skabelund at BYU.

Skabelund swam for BYU under coach Tim Powers before graduating in 1981. While competing for BYU as a student-athlete, she won Region 18 titles in the 100-yard individual medley (1978) and the 100-yard butterfly (1980) and qualified for the AIAW Nationals in 1978 and 1979. She was the first female swimmer at BYU to complete four years of eligibility.

BYU Hall of Fame