Stony Brook University has named Kerry Smith, most recently an assistant coach at Yale, as the new head coach of its women’s swimming and diving program (the school does not have a men’s program).
“Stony Brook offers incredible academics and an athletic department with a vision and support to compete at the highest level,” Smith said. “New York has an incredible base of talent for swimming & diving and I am excited about the possibilities of what lies ahead for this program.”
The hire comes after the dismissal of former head coach Janelle Atkinson and assistant coach Jordan Bowen in late January on grounds of alleged emotional abuse of swimmers. The program had only just returned to competition in the 2017-2018 season after a hiatus since 2012-2013 due to pool renovations.
Smith has extensive experience as an assistant coach at the Division I and II level.
In Smith’s three seasons at Yale, the team went undefeated in dual meet competition in back-to-back seasons (2015-2016 and 2016-2017), and in 2017 won their first Ivy League championships in almost 20 years. Before that, she worked primarily the mid-distance swimmers at the University of Virginia.
Before Virginia, Smith was the sprint and mid-distance coach at Wingate University. Before that, she was the distance coach at Truman State University.
In 2008, Smith was named an American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) Fellow. In that year, she conducted research on swimming and diving programs across the country to determine how best to prevent schools from dropping the sport from their varsity athletics program.
Smith swam collegiately at Penn State, where she was a member of the 2002 and 2005 Big Ten championship teams.
“Kerry Smith is an excellent choice to lead the Stony Brook program,” Yale Head Coach Jim Henry said. “Her wealth of experience along with her ability to connect with her students will transform the Seawolves team. She will do a great job making everyone around her better.”