Kelly McClanahan enters her seventh season as the head coach of the University of Northern Colorado swimming & diving team.
During her first season with the Bears, the Aqua Bears set three school records and finished 8th out of nine schools in their final year in the C-USA (09-10).
In the 2010-11 season, the first of two seasons the Bears competed in the MPSF, the team finished 6th of nine schools, setting eight school records. Two Bears were named All-MPSF 1st Team, and two were named All-MPSF 2nd Team, while six athletes on the 10-11 squad were named MPSF All-Academic.
The Aqua Bears finished 9/10 in the 2011-12 season, with two school records broken, one athlete named to All-MPSF 1st Team, and three named to All-MPSF 2nd Team. The squad also doubled their All-Academic presence with 12 girls honored.
In their first season as Western Athletic Conference (WAC) members, the team finished sixth overall with one athlete named All-WAC 1st team and six named 2nd team. During the championship, the Aqua Bears broke eight school records and throughout the 2012-13 season posted 37 other top 10 marks in school history.
Out of the pool, with ten WAC All-Academic honorees, McClanahan’s Bears also posted the ninth-best grade point average in Division I, combining for a 3.46 grade point average after the fall, 2012 semester, and fifteenth-best with a 3.45 in the spring, 2013 semester.
The Aqua Bears were also presented the 2013 team trophy for raising the most money for the annual Northern Colorado Women’s Walk – a fundraiser for women’s athletic scholarships.
In the following season (13-14), McClanahan led her team to a seventh place WAC finish with five school records broken and nine athletes named All-WAC 2nd team members.
The Aqua Bears continued their academic excellence in the 2013-14 season with 15 named WAC All-Academic, as well as finishing with the 11th highest GPA in Division I in the fall of 2013 (3.44) and moving up to 8th highest in the spring of 2014 with a 3.57 team GPA.
Last season, UNC had their best WAC showing since joining the conference, finishing third out of eight teams. Seven school records were broken throughout the season, and five girls were named All-WAC 1st team, with an additional 11 named All-WAC 2nd team.
Continuing their academic presence even further in McClanahan’s tenure, 13 total athletes were named WAC All-Academic, finishing second overall in Division I with a GPA of 3.58 in the fall of 2014, and fifth in the spring of 2015 with a GPA of 3.59.
Throughout her time at Northern Colorado, McClanahan has had 327 top-10 performances, coaching two to NCAA 'B' Standard qualifying times and one honorable mention All-Americans. She has also had nine NCAA Zone 'E' Diving appearances since taking over the Aqua Bear helm.
McClanahan joined the Bears from the University of Wyoming, where she was an assistant coach from 2005-09. During her four seasons with the Cowboys & Cowgirls, she helped guide the team to 12 school records, 57 all-time top 10 swims, four NCAA ‘B’ Standard qualifying times, one World Trial qualifying time and four US Open/Summer National qualifiers - and that's just the sprint teams.
McClanahan also managed the sprint training for freestyle and long-axis strokes for both the men's and women's teams. In her four seasons, 61 swimmers & divers earned Mountain West All-Conference honors and 27 were named MWC scholar-athletes in the first two years.
Prior to Wyoming, McClanahan was at the College of Charleston where she spent two years as an assistant swimming coach. At Charleston, McClanahan helped guide the Cougar swimmers to 10 school records. Before coaching at Charleston, she spent the 2002-03 season as head coach for the Robindale Woods Swim Team. She also coached the Knox Central Swim Team and the Colonial Shores Ridge Raiders previous to being at Robindale Woods.
The Chattanooga, Tenn., native swam for three years at the University of Louisville. While at Louisville, she received academic honors all three years of her career and was a part of the fourth ranked Academic All-America team.
McClanahan earned a B.S. in Sports Management, with a minor in Business Administration, from the University of Tennessee in 2001. She earned a Master’s of Science Degree in Health and Human Performance from Tennessee in 2003.
McClanahan first swam for the Greater Chattanooga Aquatic Club and was a member of the nationally ranked Baylor High School swim team, where she was a three-time All-American. While at Baylor High School, she contributed to four consecutive state championships and to a national qualifying relay team.