Super CoachGAMBIER, Ohio (May 2, 2012)
Jim Steen, architect of the most successful collegiate athletic program in NCAA history, plans to step down as head coach of the Kenyon Lords swimming and diving team after this academic year. Steen, now in his 37th year at Kenyon, will remain with the College to help ensure a smooth transition for the swimming program and take on special projects.
Steen will continue to develop his successful Total Performance Sports Camps for swimming and other sports.
Jessen Book '01, a Steen protégé who was hired in July 2010 to succeed Steen as coach of the Kenyon Ladies swimming team, will become the head coach for both the Lords and Ladies swimmers. Since his arrival, Book has helped coach the men's team and served as primary recruiter for both teams.
"Anybody who has the good fortune to achieve anything over the course of a career that is worth mentioning has been the beneficiary of a lifetime of good people," Steen said. "I certainly have had the good fortune to partner up with amazing student athletes. And the talented and creative people in this community, at this College, have taught me a lot about what it means to pursue excellence."
He directed the Kenyon men's team to 29 of its record 31 consecutive NCAA national championships. He guided the Ladies to 21 of their 23 national titles. Steen has won more NCAA national championships (50) than any other coach in any NCAA sport. He is a 14-time winner of the NCAA's Division III Coach of the Year award, a seven-time winner of the American Coaches Association Award for Excellence, and the 1994 recipient of the National Collegiate and Scholastic Swimming Trophy.
Steen has coached more than 300 men and women All-America swimmers since his arrival on campus in the 1975-76 academic year. During Steen's tenure Kenyon has ranked second among all NCAA Division III institutions with a total of 55 NCAA postgraduate scholarship winners. Swimmers coached by Steen have excelled in all walks of life and many have become successful swimming coaches around the country.
"Where do you start when talking about Coach Steen?" said Peter Smith, director of Athletics, Fitness, and Recreation. "Kenyon has been the recipient of one of the most creative and innovative coaches that the NCAA has known. His successes have often been measured in national championships, but the life discoveries that have been made by those young men and women in his program have been nothing short of remarkable."