Ryan Kennedy, a 2009 graduate and four-year member of the men’s swimming team, returned to his alma mater as assistant swimming coach and Director of Aquatics in June of 2018.
In addition to assisting head coach Mark Feinberg in all facets of the men’s and women’s teams, Kennedy directs the immensely popular Little Bears program and is also tasked with creating and directing additional revenue-producing aquatic programming.
Kennedy replaced Matt McGuriman, who left Ursinus to take the head coaching job at Lycoming.
“We’re excited to welcome Ryan back to Ursinus,” Feinberg said. “Ryan swam my first four years as head coach of this program and really was the inspiration behind the start of our incredible transformation. As a coach, Ryan has demonstrated the ability to develop young swimmers and push elite swimmers to the next level. He has had athletes at junior nationals, senior nationals, and Olympic Trials. He's had YMCA state and national champions and led a struggling team to one of the nation’s best. His work with video analysis and stroke development will make an immediate impact as will his creativity in workouts, social media, and training methods. I can think of no better fit for this program!”
Kennedy has spent the entirety of his post-graduation life in swimming instruction, taking over as head coach and aquatics director of the Phoenixville YMCA since the summer of 2009. He also spent four years with the Little Bears program, first as an instructor and later serving as its coordinator.
At the YMCA, Kennedy has grown a program of 140 non-competitive swimmers to one that now boasts 215 swimmers and has garnered national recognition. He has developed eight YMCA national finalists, four National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) All-Americans, and three YMCA national age group records have been broken under his watch. Kennedy coached at the USA junior and senior nationals and helped guide a swimmer to the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2016. Freedom Valley has placed in the top five of YMCA programs in Pennsylvania each of the past five years and was runner-up in 2018.
Kennedy is a Level 4 ASCA coach with a certificate of excellence from the American Swim Coaches Association.
Kennedy was a member of the men’s swimming team during Feinberg’s first four years as head coach. He was a two-year captain and graduated with five school records.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining this team again and to work alongside a staff that has experienced tremendous growth and success in recent years,” Kennedy said. “Mark Feinberg has created a culture at Ursinus that develops incredible student-athletes and I am honored to have this opportunity. I look forward to bringing my knowledge and energy to continue the rise in the swim team. Go Bears!”
Kennedy graduated from Ursinus with a degree in exercise and sport science and a minor in education. He resides in Spring City, Pennsylvania.