Longtime Yale men’s and women’s swimming team coach Frank Keefe will be inducted into the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame Friday night at a ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Keefe has led the men’s team since 1978 and the women’s team since 1980. In that time, he has amassed over 200 wins, led the women’s team to five Ivy League titles, and coached the men’s team to an EISL championship. His overall record at Yale is 381-179 and he has won the EISL Coach of the Year award twice.
While Keefe’s tenure at the Eli helm has been impressive, he also boasts a distinguished international competition resume. He was an assistant coach for the U.S. team in the 1984 Olympics, head manager at the 1988 Olympics, head coach for the 1975 and 1979 Pan-American Games, and assistant coach at the 1978 World Championships.
Most recently, Keefe served as the head coach for the Virgin Islands team for the 2005 FINA World Championships in Montreal this past summer. Two of his Yale swimmers, brothers Kieran ’06 and Morgan Locke ’08, swam on the team.
Kieran Locke said he admires Keefe’s concern for his swimmers’ personal lives in addition to their athletic careers.
“He’s an excellent coach, and he cares about swimmers in and out of the pool,” Locke said. “He’s always there to talk about life, the next step.”
Keefe will be inducted along with Stanford head coach Skip Kenney, SMU head coach George McMillion and former Ohio State head coach Jim Montrella.
Keefe did not tell his Yale swimmers he was receiving the honor. Meg Gill ’07 said she was informed of the award by one of Keefe’s adult swimmers recently and that she was planning to tell the team via e-mail yesterday. Several swimmers interviewed for this article did not know Keefe was receiving an award.
“I think it’s about time and it’s very well deserved,” Gill said. “Frank’s known by everyone in the swimming world as being a great coach, and it had to happen that he’d get this award because he totally deserves it. And it’s pretty cool that it’s happening now, because a lot of people think of him as a great coach back in the day, but he’s still got it.”