Swimming and diving for women | July 29, 2021
PHILADELPHIA – Kerry SmithBorn in Havertown, Pa., is the new head of the Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Coach, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Brian Baptiste announced on Thursday.
“We are excited to welcome Kerry back home to Philadelphia,” Baptiste said. “She brings a championship pedigree from her time as a student athlete and coach. Her passion and excitement for the sport stood out during the interview process and will resonate with our student athletes.”
Smith comes to 20e & Olney after the past three seasons as the Women’s Lead Swim and Dive Coach at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY
“First, I would like to thank Mr Baptiste and Mrs. Donease Smith for the opportunity and the confidence they show in me to lead the La Salle Explorers,” said Smith. “Coming home to Philadelphia and coaching at a pool where my first of many championships took place is a special honor for me. Family has always come first, and the idea of doing what I love, in a faith-based community and being there for my family is unmatched. La Salle is a great school with a wonderful history and tradition. I’m excited to see how high we can rise as a men’s and women’s program! Go explorers!”
During her time as leader of the Sea Wolves, Smith coached a total of four medalists, including redshirt senior Michal Liberman to the gold medal in the 100-yard butterfly at the America East Championship in 2020, marking the program’s first individual title since 2011. .
She also improved the team’s score at the America East Championships year over year by 185 points in 2019 to 350 points in 2021.
Smith’s program performed at a first-class level in the classroom and was named a CSCAA Scholar All-America team throughout her tenure.
Prior to Stony Brook, Smith spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Yale University. At Yale, Smith helped the team achieve back-to-back-to-back undefeated Ivy League dual meet seasons of 2016-2018. In 2017, the women’s team claimed its first Ivy League Championship in nearly two decades, while finishing second in 2016 and 2018. Smith also coached eight student athletes to the 2016 U.S. Olympic team trials.
Smith’s previous peer coaching experience includes experience at the Division I and Division II levels. She spent two seasons at the University of Virginia, working primarily with the middle-distance swimmers, and helped lead the team to the 2014 and 2015 ACC Championships, as well as 11th and fifth-place finishes in the NCAA Division I championships in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Before the University of Virginia, Smith coached the sprint and middle-distance swimmers at Wingate University in North Carolina, leading the team to a conference championship and a sixth-place finish and 11th.e place finish in the NCAA Division II Championships for the women’s and men’s teams, respectively. Wingate also had several All-Americans during Smith’s time as a coach.
Also at the Division II level, Smith coached the distance swimmers at Truman State University during the 2011-2012 season.
In 2008, Smith was named an ASCA (American Swim Coaches Association) Fellow. She conducted research into the survival of swimming and diving programs across the country to determine how best to limit the number of teams dropped from the varsity athletic departments of colleges and universities.
Smith swam at Penn State University, graduating in 2005 with a couple of bachelor’s degrees in advertising/public relations and marketing. She was named team captain in 2005 and was a member of the Big Ten Championship teams in 2002 and 2005.
WHAT THEY SAY…
“I am so excited to see Coach Smith return to her hometown of Philly! Kerry is a fantastic coach and an even better person who genuinely cares about her athletes. With her vision and leadership, La Salle Swimming and Diving is going to be fun to watch the coming years!”
-Ed Pretre, Principal Swim and Dive Coach, Colgate University