ARKADELPHIA, Arkansas, April 7. OUACHITA Baptist Director of Athletics David Sharp announced Monday that after 27 years at the helm, men's and women's swimming coach Jim Dann is retiring and assistant coach Ryan Killackey will take over as head coach.
"Jim Dann's coaching record speaks for itself," Sharp said. "He has done a tremendous job establishing and maintaining a highly competitive NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving program. His programs have produced numerous All-Americans and Academic All-Americans. He is well respected by his peers and colleagues. We will miss Coach Dann.
"I am pleased to announce Coach Killackey as our Swim Coach. He brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to our program. Not only did he compete for Coach Dann, he has had the opportunity to work with him the last two years, and that will be a valuable experience for him as he begins his new role"
Dann, 56, has earned several honors along the journey at Ouachita Baptist. He was a four-time recipient of the National Coach of the Year award and was selected into a pair of hall of fames – NAIA in 1998 and Arkansas Swimming in 2001.
During Dann's time as coach, he has guided the men's team to 18 top-10 finishes, including three top-four finishes. On the women's side, he has guided the Lady TigerSharks to four top-10 finishes (1997, 2006-2008).
A 1973 graduate of the University of Florida, Dann was a four-year letterman in swimming and immediately went to work as an assistant coach at Florida. He then became interim head coach of the Gators swimming program in 1976 before moving on from 1976-1981 as head coach at Leesburg High School in Florida.
In 1981, Dann came to Ouachita Baptist and has produced 17 individual National Champions and three Olympians – two went on to win gold. Not only that, he has coached more than 100 individual All-Americans.
He has helped college swimmers to compete at the national lever for more than 25 years and has served as a president of the NAIA Swim Coaches and was National Meet Director for the NAIA Championships in 1983 and 1984. Dann, who has compiled a 274-64-1 record as women's coach and 279-66-2 as men's coach, has also served on the NCAA Rule Committee.
Despite retiring as coach, Dann will remain at Ouachita Baptist as assistant professor in Kinesiology.
Killackey, who was in his second year as the assistant coach, is a 1998 graduate of Ouachita Baptist. He earned a BA in Communication Disorders. While living in Hawaii, he earned a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Chaminade University in Honolulu (2005).
He is a native, Okla., and was a four-year All-American and conference record holder for the TigerSharks while a student at Ouachita Baptist.
Special thanks to OBU for contributing this report.