Stanford men’s swimming head coach Skip Kenney is calling it a career after 33 years on the Farm. The 69-year-old coach was one of the legends of the swimming world, winning 31 consecutive conference titles from 1982 through 2012, a streak that more than doubles the previous Pac-10 record for any sport (John Wooden’s 14-year streak in men’s basketball at UCLA).
During this same 31-year period, Kenney led Stanford to a top-four national finish every year, the longest streak in history. Kenney won seven NCAA titles in his 33-year run after the Cardinal had just one title and four top-three finishes in the 45 years before Kenney arrived.
Under Kenney’s leadership, Stanford produced 72 individual NCAA champions, 134 All-Americans and 1,086 total All-American awards in 33 years. In addition, 20 athletes went on to the Olympics, winning a total of 18 medals. Kenney coached many of them as Olympic head coach of men’s swimming in the 1996 Games.
Perhaps most importantly for the six-time National Coach of the Year and 20-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Kenney had a 100 percent graduation rate during his tenure at Stanford, including 10 Academic All-Americans.
The Long Beach State graduate never swam competitively, but he has made an enormous impact on the swimming world as a coach. Kenney will coach Stanford swimmers through the U.S. Olympic Trials on July 2 before calling it quits.
- Jacob Jaffe