ASCA Hall of Famer & Former Yale Coach Frank Keefe Wins 2022 USA Swimming Award

by Noelle Theodoulou 4

October 03rd, 2022 National, News

Three-time US Olympic Team coach Frank Keefe was named the winner of the 2022 USA Swimming Award last week at the organization’s annual business meeting.

Established to recognize exceptional contributions to the sport, USA Swimming considers this award the highest honor in swimming.

Keefe is widely recognized as having been the head coach at Yale for over 30 years before his retirement in 2010. During his time as Yale’s Director of Swimming, he led the men’s and women’s teams to a combined total of 488 wins. Keefe also amassed six Ivy League conference titles, five of which the women’s team won.

Yale’s women’s swimming program was formed in 1980, during Keefe’s second year of coaching at the institution. Due to his contributions, the annual Ivy League women’s swimming & diving championship trophy – the Frank Keefe Trophy – was named after him in 2001. Three years later, he was inducted into the American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) Hall of Fame.

Before Keefe’s coaching stint at Yale, he was a prominent figure in the United States national governing body for swimming. Previously known as the Competitive Swimming Committee of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), USA Swimming was conceived in 1978 with the help of Keefe, Mike Troy, George Breen, Bill Lippman, and Ray Essick. Keefe served as the AAU’s National Time Standards Chairman from 1974-1979.

Keefe worked for the ASCA as the vice president (1976-78) before transitioning to the president (1978-1980). He was also on the Olympic International Organizing Committee from 1973-1988.

While Keefe dedicated his time to various committees and organizations, he was an assistant coach on the U.S. Olympic team at the 1984 Los Angeles Games and the head manager for the 1988 Olympic team in Seoul, Korea. He also served as the U.S. coach at the 1975 and 1979 Pan American Games, as well as an assistant coach at the 1978 Berlin World Championships.

Keefe coached nine Olympic swimmers, including 1968 gold medalist Carl Robie and three-time silver medalist Tim McKee. Keefe’s most recent Olympic athletes are George Gleason and Stephen Fahy, who competed at the 2000 Sydney Games. The two Olympic swimmers trained under Keefe when he was the head of Suburban Swim Center in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

Though Keefe retired in 2010, he returned to his alma mater, Villanova University, as a volunteer assistant coach in 2012. Having been a swimmer for the institution, he was named to the Villanova Athletic Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame.

In 2017, Keefe joined La Salle’s swimming program as an assistant coach. He completed his time with the Explorers at the end of the 2019-2020 season.

You can find a list of former USA Swimming Award recipients here.

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T[m McKee
1 month ago

Well deserved Fank. I hope the swimmers after me that were lucky enough to have you as their coach were easier on you than I.

T[m McKee
1 month ago

Spoiler

Ray Bosse
1 month ago

Congratulations Frank!

WDEswammer
1 month ago

A mentor for life; both in and out of the pool. Thank you for all you have done for the sport of swimming Frank! You have impacted countless swimmers and programs, we are all endlessly thankful for you you!