Patrick Nalley from Sun Devil Aquatics to Join Penn State Staff

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 7

September 17th, 2013 Big Ten, College

New Penn State head coach Tim Murphy is really going all over the map to assemble his new staff. He retained one assistant, Liz McMillan, who has been with the team for over half-a-decade.

He also added Doak Finch, a legend at UVA who was suddenly jobless but had been a Cavalier through-and-through until this year.

Next came Steve Barnes, who had been the head coach at Division III Wabash College in Indiana.

Now, Murphy has hired Sun Devil Aquatics’ head coach Patrick Nalley to join his staff, with his arrival expected later this week, according to several of his former Sun Devil athletes.

Nalley is a Cincinnati native, who swam for the famed Cincinnati Marlins and then Ft. Wayne Aquatics. Collegiately, he trained at the University of Kentucky, and started his coaching career in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

There, he began as an age group coach for the Falfins Swim Team, before being offered, and accepting, a head coaching role with the Colorado Rapids, and eventually as the head coach of Liberty High School in Colorado Springs.

He then leapt to Sun Devil Aquatics, where he coaches their highest level athletes, including the National Training Group, and is the program’s head coach.

None of Murphy’s new coaches have an obvious connection to his career, though surely there must be one. This is an increasing rarity as we see more-and-more coaches and programs lean heavily on alumni and former swimmers to fill out their staffs at the big programs (Arizona, Auburn, etc.)

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I think the connection probably goes through former Harvard Head Coach – and current Sun Devil President Mike Chasson

SDA swimmer

Penn State is lucky to have a guy like Patrick join the program. I swam with him throughout my high school career and during the summers of my collegiate career. He is hands down the best coach I’ve ever had the pleasure swimming for.

Sun Devil Aquatics swimmer

Patrick is one of the most competent, caring, hard-working coaches in the industry. His style of coaching is well-suited for the collegiate level.He is also a Breaststroke mastermind; his own success in the stroke as a swimmer has seamlessly translated into specific, smart training. He left Sun Devil Aquatics with a revitalized culture, and a close family of swimmers. Penn State is incredibly fortunate to have in its arsenal such a valuable asset.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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