Winner of more national championships than any person in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) history, former swimming and diving coach Jim Steen will be inducted into the Kenyon College Athletics Hall of Fame during a two-day reunion on Sept. 8-9.
Steen began work at Kenyon in the 1975-76 academic year and, within five years, steered the men’s team to its first national championship. Four years later, he had the Kenyon women’s team standing atop the NCAA podium.
Those championships launched a pair of streaks that may never again be witnessed by the NCAA. Mostly under Steen’s direction, the Kenyon men went on to win 31 straight national championships, while the women rattled off 17 consecutive national championships.
Overall, Steen, who spent two seasons on sabbatical, concluded his Kenyon coaching career with 29 men’s championships and 21 women’s championships. His total of 50 NCAA team titles is, by far, the most of any coach in the NCAA, including all of its sports and divisions.
During those remarkable runs, Steen’s swimmers won 471 event titles in championship competition, while setting and resetting 155 NCAA records. Steen developed 328 All-America swimmers and divers, as well as 46 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients.
Steen was a 16-time winner (11 men, 5 women) of the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) NCAA Division III Coach of the Year Award and a 26-time winner of the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Certificate of Excellence. Additionally, he was named winner of the 1994 National Collegiate and Scholastic Swimming Trophy, the 1996 ASCA Gold Award of Excellence and, in 2012, the CSCAA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Steen’s induction was planned in coordination with the announcement of the newly-established Swimming & Diving Pursuit of Excellence Endowment Fund, created by alumni in an effort to help sustain and augment resources available for the Kenyon swimming and diving programs.
With nearly 200 alumni, family, friends and coaches returning to campus for the event, Steen’s induction the evening of Saturday, Sept. 9 will cap off the two-day celebration. On Friday, Sept. 8, four standout swimmers will precede Steen into the Kenyon Athletics Hall of Fame. That quartet includes Read Boon '03, Andrejs Duda '06, Agnese (Ozolina) Butler '04, and Teresa (Zurick) Fish '88.