NC State Honors Late Duke Coach Dan Colella at Dual Meet

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 4

January 14th, 2023 ACC, College, News

The Duke Blue Devils returned to competition on Saturday morning for the first time since the death of the program’s head coach Dan Colella in December, and their opponents, the NC State Wolfpack, honored his memory by wearing shirts and caps with the initials “DC” in a Duke-blue heart for the meet.

“Our team knew this would be an emotional meet for Duke’s team, staff and fans,” NC State head coach Braden Holloway told SwimSwam on Saturday. “We wanted to honor Dan and his legacy in the most respectful way, and join Duke in celebrating his life.”

As part of the meet, each NC State swimmer placed a flower in a basket before their race in honor of Colella.

Colella, the 5th head coach in program history, spent 16 seasons as the head coach of the Blue Devils. Under his direction, the team has made NCAA Championship meet appearances in each of the past 13 seasons, including a program-record 12 female athletes at the 2018 championships.

Prior to Duke he spent 12 years as the head coach of the women’s program at the University of Tennessee. He arrived as an assistant coach in 1990 and was promoted to head coach in 1993. That time included ten top 25 finishes in 12 seasons.

“Not just a great ambassador to Duke, Tennessee or his early days at IRCC, Dan’s legacy reaches all that are connected to the sport. Dan was a great role model to all coaches and athletes,” Holloway continued about his former colleague. “He will be dearly missed.”

Colella died as a result of complications from prostate cancer. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, January 15, 2023 at the Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center.

The NC State men won the meet 199-96, while the NC State women won 168-130.

Courtesy: NC State Athletics

Courtesy: NC State Athletics

Courtesy: NC State Athletics

NC State athletes each put a flower in a basket before their races in honor of Coach Colella. Courtesy: NC State Athletics

Courtesy: NC State Athletics

Courtesy: NC State Athletics

Courtesy: NC State Athletics

Courtesy: NC State Athletics

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Thankful Duke Parent
1 year ago

Love this ! RIP Dan.

1 year ago

NC State is a class act. And great to see Duke being able to compete and honor Dan.

Last edited 1 year ago by FormerMG
NC Fan
1 year ago

Classy move to honor a very classy guy and great representative of the sport

1 year ago

Classy move by NCST. The swim community lost a great leader with Dan

Great move by all members of NC State

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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