Former Club Wolverine Coach Kelton Graham Hired At Lakers Aquatic Club

Kelton Graham, the former head coach of Club Wolverine, has been hired as the new head coach at Lakers Aquatic Club.

Graham took over as head coach of Club Wolverine in 2011, and continued coaching there up until late June where he was arrested at the 2016 Olympic Trials on the suspicion of soliciting prostitution in Omaha. He plead guilty to the charges. After the arrest he was officially relieved of his duties at CW.

Graham was formerly a collegiate swimmer for Eastern Michigan, qualifying for the MAC Championships in all four years.

After swimming Graham turned to coaching, beginning at a minority team in Ann Arbor called the Aquademics. He also coached the Ypsilanti Otters and Ann Arbor Huron High School and earned the Michigan Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association Coach of the Year award during his time there, the first African American coach to do so.

He then moved onto Club Wolverine, beginning with the team in 2006 and moving onto head coach halfway through his time there. He sent numerous swimmers to Division I, II and III schools and over a dozen to the Olympic Trials this past summer.

Read Lakers Aquatic Club full release on the addition of Graham below:

“Kelton swam for Eastern Michigan swim team where he made the MAC squad 4 years in a row.  His highest place was 3rd in the 200 yard breast stroke. After his swimming career ended he turned to coaching.   He began at a team named Aquademics, a minority team in Ann Arbor; there he placed swimmers at the State meet while coaching at the Michigan swim camps in the summer. From there he coached at the Ypsilanti Otters where the team set 50 club records and placed 11th in the 12 and Under State meet and had multiple swimmers place at the open states and zone meets.  He rose up from a high school coach at Ann Arbor Huron where they won the Div 1 state title and the following year they were State runner ups.  

Kelton was named the Michigan Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association Coach of the Year, becoming the first African American to receive this award. From there Kelton took over Club Wolverine  where he has had numerous swimmers go on to swim in Division I, II and III schools and more than a dozen go to Olympic trials this year alone,  CW has won Sectionals under Kelton, placed 5th at NCSA Junior Nationals, 15th at Speedo Junior Nationals.  Kelton has great connections at EMU, UofM, WSU, Ohio State and other colleges. He has managed a club of more than 300 swimmers.  We are very excited that Kelton has decided to join the Lakers family.”

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19 Comments on "Former Club Wolverine Coach Kelton Graham Hired At Lakers Aquatic Club"

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Purple Rain 99

I hope this story gets old and that swimswam does not feel the need to follow this man around bringing up his shameful mistake wherever he goes. No need to kick a man while he is down.

I am currently on the Lakers swim team and can say he is one of the best coaches I’ve had.

I wish the guy the best, but his reputation will follow him whether there are articles or not. He has a criminal record, you can’t hide from that.

Especially not when the media puts you on blast wherever you go

he made a huge mistake at our sport’s biggest stage, it’s a news story. It’s swimswam’s responsibility to post newsworthy articles. He should be happy he isn’t a d1 football coach or a NBA/NFL coach. it would be all over ESPN and discussed on every sports media outlet available. It could have been worse.

Sure, when it occurred. But I don’t think the media has a responsibility to remind everyone of something that happened in the past whenever a persons name comes up. For example, every story on Michael Phelps does not include a reference to his legal issues, nor should it. The legal matter has been settled in the eyes of the court system, which should be good enough for the public.

I’m sorrry but a DUI is a lot different from soliciting a
Prostitute. Prostitution is a crime which involves young women and girls who are often.enslaved, addicted, abused and vulnerable. And this is a guy who is coaching girls. So I do believe that the media has a duty to point his ” bad decision” out.

You’re right, they are different. Driving drunk as hell can result in people dying. Soliciting a prostitute almost certainly cannot. As far as the “often, enslaved, addicted, abused and vulnerable,” part, you may be right, or may not be, but that has nothing to do with Mr. Graham’s offense. He’s not the pimp, he’s the john, so your point is irrelevant.

Having lost my sister when she was 14 years old, I would have to greatly disagree with you. She was struck and killed walking to the playground by our house by a drunk driver. Drunk Drivers ruin millions of families lives forever. My parents are 85 years old and still cry almost daily about losing their 14 year old daughter 45 years ago. His attempted indiscretion was not with a ‘girl’, it was with a woman police officer. As rookery said, he is not the pimp. I agree that prostitution is a terrible thing but blaming the john, is like blaming the occasional pot smoker for mexican drug lords forcing young ladies to stuff themselves full of drugs and be… Read more »

I know this man best by this incident. Without mentioning it I would have been a little lost as to who he was. With that being said Michael Phelps did things after his legal issues to silence them, things that have a little more grander than being hired to a new team.

I understand that you feel bad for the man but other people feel what they feel too.

That’s nice, but frankly your personal knowledge is immaterial, and this has nothing to do with anyones feelings. The fact that he was a former head coach of Club Wolverine, one of the premier swim clubs in the nation, is far more relevant to his hiring than “that guy who was arrested during Olympic Trials.”

I think a lot of parents on his new team would disagree

Okay, so people shouldn’t be allowed to move past their mistakes and should be haunted by them wherever they go? That about right?
Also, swim parents are notorious for being overbearing and reactionary, something I’m sure you know if your username is anything to judge by. I don’t think their opinions should factor into hiring in any way. His crime wasn’t against children, and other than this one incident his reputation is sterling by all accounts.

Actually, his new team has fully embraced him and looks forward to what he can do for the team as well as what the team can do for him. What is a misdemeanor offense that was a big mistake does not have to be something that should be career ending or follow him everywhere he goes. The Michigan swim community all know him, the highly repecred other coaches still speak very highly of him and wish him well and are also very happy that he is gettig a cance to continue his career as a very successful coach. Sometimes to make lemonade out of lemons, you need someone to hand you a lemon.

Well he had the lemon, but i think you know what I mean. I know the offense is serious, and I’m sure there are impressionable boys on the team and the whole other issues involving the girls, but what no one knows are the exact details of what happened, not you or I, or even Swimswam. Maybe, just maybe there is a lesson in forgiveness. All humans make some type of lapse in judgement at some point, I in no way think this is something small, but if you know him at all, you might just agree that he is worth reaching out a hand to help.

SCCoach – you think wrong. Very, very wrong. Every single parent on our team (The Lakers) LOVES Kelton and are so glad he is coaching our team. I also know quite a few CW parents and NONE of them are happy about his departure. More importantly, the kids love him too. He inspires them and motivates them to work hard in practice like no coach I have witnessed in any sport during my 42 years of being involved in athletics. If you ever had a chance to meet him, you would agree. You know when there are some people you meet that just give off a positive vibe and you can just feel that they are GOOD people? That is… Read more »

His mistake is relevant to this article because it precipitated his departure from CW. When you write an article about a new hire, you usually mention the last place the person worked and why they left.

Went to high school with the guy and he was a fish in the water…the scandal shocked me though..i hope whatever lesson he had to learn that he learned

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James is currently a university swimmer for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. He is studying economics. Along with swimming, he also loves hockey. He's in his 14th season as a competitive swimmer. Best Times (SCM): 50 FR - 24.70 100 FR - 53.88 200 FR - 1:56.12 1500 FR - 16:45.97 100 BK - …

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