The Stony Brook University pool located in the Pritchard Gymnasium. Stony Brook Athletics announced Monday, May 7 that former Yale Swimming and Diving assistant coach, Kerry Smith, will be the new head coach for the Stony Brook team.  ARACELY JIMENEZ/THE STATESMAN

Stony Brook Athletics announced the hiring of Kerry Smith Monday, May 7 to fill the Swimming and Diving head coach vacancy.

Smith, a former captain of the Penn State University Nittany Lions, joins Stony Brook after spending the past three years as an assistant coach for Yale’s swimming and diving program.

“This is an exciting day for the future of Stony Brook Swimming and Diving as we welcome Kerry Smith to the Seawolves family,” Athletics Director Shawn Heilbron said in a press release. “We are committed to building a championship program and have complete confidence in Kerry’s ability to lead our women forward.”  

Smith will assume the role of head coach for the 2018-19 season, replacing former swimming and diving head coach Janelle Atkinson, who was allegedly fired in January amid allegations of verbally abusing athletes.

The Penn State alumna’s resume includes stops at the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur, Truman State University, Wingate University and the University of Virginia before working at Yale. In her time in Connecticut, the Bulldogs completed back-to-back undefeated Ivy League dual meet seasons.

“I would like to thank Director of Athletics, Shawn Heilbron and Associate Athletic Director Stephen Clacherty for the trust they’re placing in me to lead the Seawolves into the future,” Smith said in the press release. “I’m extremely excited and honored by the opportunity to join the Stony Brook family and can not wait to get started.”

In addition to her coaching credentials, Smith also completed research in 2008 surrounding the sustainability of swimming and diving programs at colleges and universities in the United States. She received the distinction of ASCA Fellow from the American Swim Coaches Association.

“Stony Brook offers incredible academics and an athletic department with a vision and support to compete at the highest level,” Smith said. “New York has an incredible base of talent for swimming & diving and I am excited about the possibilities of what lies ahead for this program.”

The swimming and diving program returned to its renovated pool last October after a five-year hiatus. The team finished its 2017-18 season with a 0-6 record.