Kenyon Head Coach Jim Steen Retiring
-- May 2, 2012
GAMBIER, Ohio, May 2. JIM Steen, architect of the most successful collegiate athletic program in NCAA history, plans to step down as head coach of the Kenyon College Lords swimming and diving team after this academic year. Steen, now in his 37th year at Kenyon, will remain with the College to help ensure a smooth transition for the swimming program and take on special projects.
Steen took over the Kenyon men's program and started the women's program in the 1975-76 season. Since then, he directed the Lords to 29 of their record 31 consecutive NCAA national championships and guided the Ladies to 21 of their 23 national titles. Steen has won more NCAA national championships (50) than any other coach in any NCAA sport. He is a 14-time winner of the NCAA's Division III Coach of the Year award, a seven-time winner of the American Coaches Association Award for Excellence, and the 1994 recipient of the National Collegiate and Scholastic Swimming Trophy.
"Anybody who has the good fortune to achieve anything over the course of a career that is worth mentioning has been the beneficiary of a lifetime of good people," Steen said. "I certainly have had the good fortune to partner up with amazing student-athletes. And the talented and creative people in this community, at this College, have taught me a lot about what it means to pursue excellence."
Steen has coached more than 300 men and women All-America swimmers. During his tenure Kenyon has ranked second among all NCAA Division III institutions with a total of 55 NCAA postgraduate scholarship winners. Swimmers coached by Steen have excelled in all walks of life and many have become successful swimming coaches around the country.
"Where do you start when talking about Coach Steen?" said Peter Smith, director of Athletics, Fitness, and Recreation. "Kenyon has been the recipient of one of the most creative and innovative coaches that the NCAA has known. His successes have often been measured in national championships, but the life discoveries that have been made by those young men and women in his program have been nothing short of remarkable."
Jessen Book '01, a Steen prot?g? who was hired in July 2010 to succeed Steen as coach of the Kenyon Ladies swimming team, will become the head coach for both the Lords and Ladies swimmers. Book guided the Ladies to fourth-place national finishes in each of the last two seasons.
Steen will continue to develop his successful Total Performance Sports Camps for swimming and other sports.
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