Union, N.J. (6/29/17) - The Kean University Department of Athletics has named Barbara Perkins as the new head coach of the women’s swimming team, as announced by Jack McKiernan, Director of Athletics.
“I am thrilled to have been selected as the person to bring back Women's Swimming to Kean University,” stated Perkins. “With everything the revamped campus has to offer and with the support of the University, I think that this is the beginning of a new era of athletics at Kean. It is my pleasure to continue the momentum that has been established in the athletic department with the reintroduction of the women's swimming program. I am excited to create a team of driven young women who will achieve great things in the classroom and in the pool.”
This will be the first collegiate head coaching job for Perkins who spent the 2016-17 season at NJAC rival Montclair State University as an assistant coach. This past season she helped the Red Hawk women’s team to an 8-3 overall mark (9-3 record for the men’s team as well) while finishing sixth at the Metropolitan Championships where MSU established 10 new school records. In addition to her time at MSU, she was previously the assistant at Indiana University for two seasons. At Indiana she coached 2016 Olympic gold medalists Lilly King, Cody Miller and Blake Pieroni. IU placed ninth and 10th at the NCAA Championships during her tenure.
“We are happy to welcome Barbara to the Kean University family,” stated McKiernan. “She has a diverse background and I believe those experiences, along with her work ethic, will serve our student-athletes and program well."
Perkins graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California in 2011 and was a member of the water polo team where she was the team captain for her final two seasons. Outside the pool deck, she is a world-ranked triathlete and a two-time Ironman 70.3 World Championship qualifier, a USAT All-American, and two time National Team USA member.
The Kean women’s swimming program, dormant since 2003, is resuming as a varsity sport during the 2017-18 school year.
The addition brings the total number of varsity sports offered by Kean University to 14; eight for women (basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis and volleyball) and six for men (baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball).
Kean’s pool inside D’Angola Gymnasium is regulation size and is ready to host the team right away.
The program and pool records established previously are preserved in the Kean athletics archives and will be considered an official part of the program’s history.
This is the first program Kean athletics has added to its offerings since men’s volleyball began in the 2011 season. That program has reached incredible heights in its first seven years, including six conference championships, six appearances in the NCAA Division III National Tournament and a No.1 national ranking in 2015.
Women’s swimming is the first Kean program resuscitated since women’s tennis returned from a five-year hiatus in 1996. The last women’s program added from its infancy to the current offerings was women’s lacrosse, also in the 1996 season.
The Kean swim program will immediately join its NJAC sister institutions (The College of New Jersey, Montclair State, Ramapo, Rowan and William Paterson) already offering swimming as the sixth member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference for swimming and diving. Like all other Kean varsity sports, the program will compete at the Division III level of the NCAA.