Frank Keefe to Serve as Interim Aquatics Director at Wesleyan with Departure of Mary Bolich for Penn State Position
Mary Bolich, who served as Wesleyan’s Aquatic Director for 11 years, announced her resignation recently to assume the position of
Coordinator of Athletic Programs at Penn State University. Stepping in to fill the vacancy at Wesleyan on an interim basis for the 2011-12 season is Frank Keefe, who served as aquatics director and head men’s and women’s swimming coach at Yale University from 1978 until he announced his retirement following the 2009-10 season. Over his 32 seasons at Yale, Keefe amassed 473 career victories, nearly evenly divided between the men’s and women’s teams.
“It is a good fit,” said Keefe of the Wesleyan position. He has been involved in coaching swimming for more than 50 years following his graduation from Villanova in 1960. After five years as a high school swim coach at Monsignor Bonner in Drexel Hill, Pa., Keefe began a long Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) career with the Suburban Swim Club. This group won the Eastern USA title from 1969 through 1976, and was a top-10 national AAU squad over the span.
Once at Yale, Keefe founded the Omni Swim Club in New Haven, Conn., which he directed for 20 years. He also has had considerable international experience with USA squads against teams from Japan, the Netherlands, Canada, East Germany and Russia, as well as additional affiliations with Pan Am, World Championship and Olympic teams. He had an assistant coaching assignment with the U.S. Olympic team during the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.
Keefe is a member of the Villanova University Athletic Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame and American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Over her 11 seasons with the Cardinals, Bolich, who graduated from Temple in 1984, guided both the men’s and women’s programs to winning marks, the men at 75-64 and the women at 77-63-1. She came to Wesleyan after four years as head coach at the University of Iowa, preceded by seven years of assistant coaching at Penn State. Prior to Penn State, Bolich served as an assistant at Cal Berkeley for a season and the University of Pittsburgh for two years.
“Mary Bolich was a very dedicated swim coach and a tremendous mentor to our student-athletes,” said Wesleyan Director of Athletics John Biddiscombe. “We wish her well in her new administrative role with Penn State athletics.”
“I’m excited about this opportunity to coach at Wesleyan,” said Keefe. “I understand the kind of student-athlete who attends Wesleyan and the kind of pressures they face. We’ll work together to make it a successful mixture.”
With regard to the appointment of Keefe, Biddiscombe added, “Wesleyan is very fortunate to have such a distinguished swim coach fill the role of interim coach. Frank Keefe brings outstanding experience to our men’s and women’s program that few other swim coaches in the nation can include as a part of their coaching resume.”
Formal Wesleyan swimming and diving practice begins Tues., Nov. 1, and the first meet for both the men and women takes place Sat., Nov. 19, at Bates College.