April 29, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Frank Keefe, Yale's Robert J.H. Kiphuth Director of Swimming who has guided the Yale men's and women's swimming teams to 473 wins, will retire at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season. Keefe, who was inducted into the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2005, has been the head coach of the men's team since 1978 and the women's team since 1980.
Keefe has successfully forged Yale Swimming's prestigious and illustrious past with his own unique drive for excellence and achievement. His undying commitment to the program and his sincere love of Yale Swimming is the driving force behind both teams' success.
"I grew-up in the New Haven area, and my father worked in the Physical Education Department. Yale has been family for my entire life," Keefe said. "Over these past 30 years I have been blessed with more than 500 swimmers and divers who have graduated from Yale. I hope I was able to be a positive influence and a part of their experience. Yale is about people that strive to be the best at what they choose to be. It's been a wonderful experience and I am grateful to be part of the lives I had the opportunity to touch."
The Ivy League recognized Keefe's contributions to the sport in 2002 when the annual women's championship trophy was named the Frank Keefe Trophy.
Keefe is a two-time Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League Coach of the Year. He led the men's team to an Ivy League title in 1991-92 and guided the women's team to five Ivy crowns, including undefeated seasons in 1992-93 and 1996-97.
Besides an extensive collegiate background, Keefe boasts international coaching experience. One of the most respected figures in American swimming, Keefe served as an assistant coach for the 1984 United States Olympic team and was the head manager for the 1988 Olympic team. Previously, Keefe served as the U.S. coach for the 1975 and 1979 Pan American Games and as an assistant coach at the 1978 World Championships.
Before starting at Yale, Keefe had already coached nine Olympic swimmers, including gold medalist Carl Robie and silver medalist Tim McKee. More recently, he coached George Gleason '00 and Stephen Fahy '00 to the 2000 Olympics, where they represented the Virgin Islands and Bermuda respectively.
"For more than three decades, Frank has had a profound impact on the lives of the men and women of Yale Swimming," said Yale Director of Athletics Tom Beckett. "His contributions to the Yale community and to the world of competitive swimming on the collegiate as well as the Olympic level have been exceptional. We all salute his outstanding work."
Keefe is a 1960 graduate of Villanova. He is a member of both the Villanova and state of Pennsylvania Halls of Fame.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity