Perkins ready to bring back swimming to Kean
By Greg Patuto | Published Sept. 27, 2017
After 14 years of being dormant, the women’s swimming program will resume as a varsity sport for the 2017-18 school year.
In June, Kean hired Barbara Perkins as the head coach who will coach the team’s first season since 2003. Perkins started out as an assistant at Indiana University where she coached three 2016 Olympic gold medalists. During her time there, she helped Indiana finish 9th and 10th in the NCAA Championships.
She spent her last year as an assistant coach at Montclair State University. Being the head coach at Kean is something that means a lot to Perkins.
“I feel honored and also challenged to do my best,” Perkins said. “I thrive under pressure and want to make this a successful program.”
Swimming has not been offered at Kean since 2003 because of renovations being made to the pool inside of the D’Angola Gymnasium.
“At that time, we did not feel right to offer a sport without access to a suitable swimming facility,” said Director of Athletics Jack McKiernan. “The plan all along was to eventually return the program back to varsity once the renovations were completed.”
Bringing back a program after all this time is not an easy task and is something that will take hard work and dedication from both coaches and players. Kean has some recruits on board that can help build the team back up.“
[Recruiting] is one of my top priorities this year,” Perkins said. “I have had some recruits on campus and some that are coming to the Open House.”
There are many things to look forward to whether you are a swimmer, coach, or fan. Coach Perkins sees this as an opportunity to be a mentor for the team.
“I want them to believe they can do incredible things in the pool and in the classroom.”
The expectations for this season are to be competitive, build a strong program for the future, and to grow not only as swimmers, but as students.“
This season, I want the team to have a lot of fun and make some new traditions,” Perkins said. “I am excited to see how people will improve over the season and I want every single swimmer to learn something about themselves.”
The Cougars will begin their season with a conference match-up against Ramapo College on Saturday, October 28 at 2:00 PM.