Longtime Yale Coach Frank Keefe Wins 2022 USA Swimming Award

Coach Frank Keefe - Lessons with the Legends - Swimming World -

Longtime Yale Coach Frank Keefe Wins 2022 USA Swimming Award

Frank Keefe, who spent more than 30 years as the head coach at Yale University, is the recipient of the 2022 USA Swimming Award.

The award was given by USA Swimming at its annual business meeting last week. Keefe joins a long list of luminaries to receive the award, established in 1982. It is, per the governing body’s website, “the highest honor in the sport of swimming, given to the individual or organization with the most outstanding contribution to the sport of swimming.”

Keefe has been involved in swimming for more than a half-century. Before arriving at Yale, he coached at Suburban Swim Center in Newtown Square, Penn., where his pupils included Olympic medalists Carl Robie and Tim McKee. He won 488 meets as the head coach of the Yale men’s and women’s teams, occupying the endowed Robert J.H. Kiphuth Director of Swimming role until 2010. (The women’s team started in his second year as the men’s head coach.) His name  graces the Frank Keefe Trophy, given to the Ivy League women’s swimming and diving team champion.

Keefe was an assistant coach on the U.S. Olympic team at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles and the head managed at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. He was the head coach for Pan Am Games teams in 1975 and 1979 and an assistant for the U.S. at the 1978 World Championships. In the college realm, he continued as a volunteer assistant at his alma mater, Villanova, and La Salle near his home outside of Philadelphia well into his 70s.

Away from the pool deck, Keefe helped create USA Swimming in the late 1970s, differentiating the nascent body from the Amateur Athletic Union, which had governed swimming for many years (and for which Keefe was the National Time Standards Chairman from 1974-79). He served as the American Swim Coaches Association’s vice president from 1976-78, its president from 1978-80 and was one the Olympic International Organizing Committee from 1973-88. He’s been a part of various rules committees within USA Swimming and was a member of the Connecticut Swimming House of Delegates.

A 1960 graduate of Villanova, Keefe has been inducted to the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Villanova’s athletics hall of fame and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame

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Jon B
1 month ago

A well-deserved honor for a superb coach. I had the privilege of swimming under him at the USOC Training Center many years ago.

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