The University of Nebraska at Kearney announced Kyle Trelka as the new head coach of its swimming and diving program on Tuesday, with the program’s new leader set to officially take over duties at the beginning of the second semester.
Trelka takes the reins from former head coach Becky O’Connell, who retired in the fall, the school says. A school spokesperson told News Channel Nebraska that she stepped down approximately six weeks ago.
O’Connell was the head coach of the Aqualopers for just over five seasons, having been hired back in July 2018.
Since her departure, graduate assistant Abraham Sal has been serving as interim head coach.
Nebraska-Kearney is an NCAA Division II school that competes in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC). They only sponsor a women’s swim & dive program.
Trelka has most recently served as the head coach at Clearwater High School, where he’s been working dating back to 2016. He’s also led swim programs at Calvary Christian High School (2021-23) and Radiant Aquatics (2018-23), where is also the founder/CEO.
“I am excited for Kyle to lead the women’s swimming and diving programs,” said Director of Athletics Marc Bauer. “He set himself apart throughout the interview process, articulating his passion, competitive mindset, drive, and vision to positively impact our student-athletes experiences and ability to reach their full potential.”
Trelka was a standout swimmer at Division I Wisconsin-Milwaukee, helping lead the Panthers to three straight Horizon League titles while also winning team Rookie of the Year honors in 2009 and spending two seasons as a co-captain.
He graduated UWM in 2012 with a double major in Finance and Marketing and previously worked a corporate job in Nebraska where he met his wife before moving to Florida to get reintegrated into the swimming community.
“I’m very blessed to have the opportunity to join the Lopers athletic staff and look forward to building on an already strong aquatics tradition and culture,” said Trelka. “Being a lifelong competitive swimmer has given me plenty of insight and input into my training and meets. As a full-time coach the past nine years, I’ve been able to hone my coaching ideals and philosophy.”
UNK most recently competed at the Augustana Invitational in Sioux Falls, S.D., and will be in action Dec. 1-2 at the Pioneer Classic hosted by Grinnell College.