Rogers Making Her Fourth Appearance at NCAAs
Kitayama Named Swimmer of the Year; Kennedy Coach of the Year
Six-time NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year George Kennedy recently is in his 28th season as the head coach of the highly-successful Johns Hopkins swimming and diving teams. Under Kennedy's leadership, Hopkins has maintained its place as one of the most dominant programs in the nation. He has guided the Blue Jays to a number of impressive finishes at the NCAA Championships, with both the men's and women's teams consistently challenging for the national championship. Kennedy recently completed a two-year stint as the president of the College Swimming Coaches Association.
As head coach of the women's program, Kennedy has compiled a dual meet record of 156-138-2 (.530) while collecting eight conference titles, including three straight titles in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011. The Blue Jay women have finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships 16 times during his tenure, including two top-five finishes. Prior to Kennedy's arrival, the Blue Jay women had never finished in the top 10 and had finished in the top 20 just twice.
In 2011, Hopkins won its fourth Bluegrass Mountain Conference championship and freshman Sarah Rinsma was named the Swimmer of the Meet after winning six conference titles - three individual and three relay. The Blue Jays then placed eighth at the NCAA Championship, their highest finish since the 2004 team took home sixth place. Blue Jay swimmers combined to earn 26 All-America honors and tied a program record with 10 conference titles. The team also broke 10 school records and added five pool records to its credit in 2010-11.
In 27 years at Hopkins with the men's program, Kennedy has compiled a 180-106 (.629) dual meet record and collected 15 conference titles and coached 12 NCAA champions. In 2012, the Blue Jays posted a 6-2 dual meet record, finished second at the Bluegrass Mountain Conference championship and ninth at the NCAAs as JHU swimmers combined for 26 All-America honors. In 2010, Hopkins placed third at the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Championship in its first season in the league. Hopkins followed that up with a 12th place finish at the NCAA Championships, with senior John Thomas claiming his third straight 200 Back title. Blue Jay swimmers combined for 18 All-America honors at the 2010 Championships while Thomas broke his own NCAA Record in the 200 Back. In 2008-09, the Blue Jays took sixth place at the ECAC Open Championship before finishing 11th at the NCAA Championships where the Blue Jays earned 23 All-America honors. JHU was led at the NCAAs by Thomas, who broke two NCAA records en route to national titles in the 100 and 200 Back, and was named the National Swimmer of the Year. The previous year, Kennedy led Hopkins to a second place finish at the NCAAs, while the Blue Jays combined for 36 All-America honors. Kennedy was named the NCAA Coach of the Year for the sixth time in his career.
The Blue Jays have finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships 24 times in Kennedy's 27 seasons and have finished in the top five 12 times. Kennedy was also a part of the 28 consecutive conference titles won by the men's team from 1971 through 1998. That streak is tied for the third-longest streak in any sport in Division III history
In all, Kennedy has coached 12 NCAA Champions, including Rocio Lopez who won the 100 Fly in 1996. During his tenure, he has coached more then 200 men and women to nearly 1,200 All-America honors.
While the teams' success in the pool has been well-documented, Kennedy has attracted the type of student-athlete that can excel at Hopkins both in the classroom and in the pool. During his tenure at Johns Hopkins, Kennedy and the Blue Jays have recorded numerous awards for academic excellence from the College Swimming Coaches Association, while nine members of the program have earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors since 1997. In 2009, senior John Kegelman was named a First Team CoSIDA Academic All-American as well as the CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year for the At-Large Division. Kegelman also earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, making him the seventh swimmer under Kennedy to do so, and was named the ECAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
A 1977 graduate of the University of North Carolina, Kennedy was a four-year letter winner for the Tar Heels and an NCAA Division I qualifier in the 100 yard backstroke. After graduation, Kennedy remained at UNC to earn his master's degree in physical education and serve as an assistant on the Tar Heels' coaching staff. In 1980-81 he became head coach of the men's and women's swimming teams at Gettysburg College, where he compiled an impressive 77-31-2 dual meet record in five seasons.
Kennedy currently resides in Towson, MD, with his wife, Helen. They have two daughters, Catherine, graduate of Mary Washington, and Sarah, a sophomore at the University of North Carolina.
Records Fall on Day One of NCAA Championship
Women's Swimming NCAA Championship Preview
Navy Defeats Johns Hopkins, 127-73
Johns Hopkins Takes Down St. Mary's, 141-112