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1972 Olympian Gary Conelly Retires After 22 Years With University of Kentucky

Published:April 17, 2013

with SW magazine cover
Courtesy of: UK Athletics
LEXINGTON, Kentucky, April 17. GARY Conelly has announced his retirement from the University of Kentucky swimming and diving program after 22 years as head coach. 1988 US Olympian Lars Jorgensen has been named interim head coach while the university opens the position to the public.

In his time with UK, Conelly had 15 top-20 NCAA team finishes, 60 swimmers and divers earn over 200 All-American honors, SEC Champions, two NCAA top-five individual finishers and was named SEC Swimming Coach of the Year for the 1994-95 season. He also coached two-time US Olympic gold medalist Rachel Komisarz.

The 1991-92 season marked the start of Conelly's UK coaching career as the head women's coach. The following year, he became head coach of both the men's and women's programs.


"Retirement is one of those things you think you're never going to reach and then it's here," Conelly told Lex18.com. "I've been really fortunate to be at Kentucky and it's been a pleasure to work with everyone -- athletes, coaches and administrators."

Conelly competed on the 1972 US Olympic Team, winning a pair of gold medals for participating on the 400 and 800 freestyle relays, before taking up coaching. A member of the Indiana Swimming Hall of Fame, he was a 15-time NCAA All-American during his collegiate career with the Hoosiers.

Conelly graced the cover of the March 1973 issue of Swimming World Magazine during his time swimming for Indiana:



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