On Friday, Clarion head coach Brehan Kelley became the first woman ever to win the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Swimming Coach of the Year award — men’s or women’s — since its inception in 1989-90 season.
Clarion is a Division II school located north of Pittsburgh. Last month, Kelley guided the Golden Eagles to a third-place finish at the 2023 PSAC Swimming Championships, their best result since 2017, when the team also placed third. Clarion totaled 505 points, ahead of Bloomsburg (483) and behind only Gannon (588.5) and West Chester (968.5).
Kelley also helped send two swimmers, sophomore David Bocci and senior Connor Cary, to the Division II Championships earlier this month. Bocci went on to place eighth in the 200 fly (1:46.19), earning All-America status while breaking the school record along the way.
Kelley swam for Clarion from 2003-06, specializing in butterfly and IM events. A 12-time NCAA D-II All-American, Kelley returned to the program a few years after graduating as an assistant coach for seven years. After two years serving as interim head coach, she was named head coach in March of 2018.
Paul Demesy of West Chester took home PSAC’s Freshman of the Year honors after placing second in the 1650 free with a 15:16.22, the second-fastest time in conference history.
Congratulations, Coach! A great accomplishment and well deserved!