Nolan Silbernagel enters his fifth season as the head coach of the Gill St. Bernard’s boys' and girls' swim team. His extensive knowledge of the sport and commitment to providing a rewarding and fun experience to each swimmer has led to immediate results for the program.
The 2019-2020 season was an especially successful year for the girls' team, as the Knights went 6-1 in their first year in the Skyland Conference Valley Division, had their highest-ever finishes at championship meets, and advanced all the way to the NJSIAA Non-Public B Semifinals. GSB had two swimmers earn first-team all-conference selections as well as two relays. For their success in the pool, Silbernagel was named the Skyland Conference Valley Division Co-Coach of the Year.
Prior to joining Gill, Silbernagel served as the assistant swim coach at his high school alma mater, Jefferson Township High School. While a student at Jefferson, Silbernagel was a three-time captain, three-time All-County honoree, and two-time school record holder. In 2009 his Medley Relay placed 13th in the state at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions. He also helped lead his team to an 8-0 record and the school’s first ever NJAC-North title his senior year.
Silbernagel also swam club with the Lakeland Hills YMCA. While there, he was on three YMCA National Top-16 relays and was a two-time YMCA Nationals qualifier. He concluded his swimming career at Fordham University where he was named to the Atlantic-10 Commissioners Honor Roll in 2011.
“The thing that excites me so much about the swim program here at Gill is that the sky is truly the limit,” says Silbernagel. “We now have a great foundation with excellent, hard-working kids and we are just going to keep getting better and faster every year.”
You can also see Silbernagel around campus as he serves as a the Sports Information Coordinator and as an Upper School Advisor here at the school.
This year marks the inaugural season for the Middle School swim team. This program allows students to develop skills in all four strokes while preparing them for the varsity level in the Upper School. This will serve as an important program as the varsity swim team continues to grow.
The girls’ swim team has grown rapidly in recent years and is now one of the largest sports programs at Gill. The Knights have gone 12-4 over the past two years, including back-to-back Non-Public B State Tournament appearances, advancing to the state semifinals in 2020. Individually, Rebecca Michaels '20 qualified for the Meet of Champions for the unprecedented third year in a row, and also won GSB's first-ever championship title by claiming gold in the 50 freestyle at the Somerset County Championships.
Nolan Silbernagel (Head), Donna Bednarsky (Assistant)
Mountain Division of Skyland Conference, NJISAA- Prep B Championships, and Somerset County Interscholastic Athletic Association
Monday before Thanksgiving
Approximate ending date:
Dependent on opponent and pool availability