Coach Kelly McClanahan, native to Cleveland, is an alumnus of the Baylor School. During her time at
Baylor, she was part of four state championship teams and a NISCA High School All-American. Kelly
was also a member of the 400 Free Relay state-record team. Upon graduating from Baylor in 1996, she
continued her studies and swimming career at the University of Louisville.
Coach McClanahan spent 2017-19 coaching the Cleveland Aqua Tigers, where she worked with every
age-group swimmer. CAT produced three Southeastern qualifiers, six Southeastern Top-16 finishes, one
Southern Zone Team qualifier, one USA Swimming Future Qualifier, and NCSA Junior National
Before returning to Tennessee, McClanahan was Head Coach at the University of Northern Colorado from
2009-16. During her seven seasons, the Bears broke 36 school records, produced three Western Athletic
Champions, 20 All-WAC first team members, 34 All-WAC second-team members, four NCAA-B
qualifiers, six USA National qualifiers and achieved 361 all-time top 10 swims in program history. The
Bears had their best showing at the 2015 WAC Conference Championships finishing third.
McClanahan focused on graduating well-rounded athletes, with academics as the driving force. During
her tenure the Bears produced 11 straight semesters ranked as a CSCAA All-America Team, with their
highest ranking in 2015 placing 5th amongst all Division I Swimming & Diving programs. The Bears
produced 76 All-Academic MPSF and WAC conference honors, 1 NCAA Honorable Mention Academic
All-American and nine student-athletes maintained 4.0 GPAs through graduation.
McClanahan joined the Bears from the University of Wyoming, where she was an assistant coach from
2005-09. During her four seasons with the Cowboys & Cowgirls, she guided the sprint program to 12
school records, 57 all-time top 10 swims, four NCAA-B qualifiers, one World Trial qualifier, and four US
Open/Summer National qualifiers.
Before Wyoming, McClanahan was at the College of Charleston from 2003-05 as the assistant coach. At
Charleston, McClanahan helped guide the Cougar swimmers to 10 school records.
Before her college coaching stint, she spent the 2003 summer season as an assistant coach for the Colonial Shores Ridge Raiders in Chattanooga, 2000 summer season as head coach for Robindale Woods Swim Team in Knoxville and 2000-01 high school season as an assistant coach for the Knox Central Swim Team.
McClanahan has also worked with elite coaches at nationally renowned swim camps. In 2004 she
coached at Arizona State University’s and University of Southern California’s swim camps.
Currently, Kelly has an 11-year partnership with US Sports Camps and is the Director and Head Coach
for the University of Colorado Nike Swim Camp.
McClanahan earned a B.S. in Sports Management, with a minor in Business Administration, from the
University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2001 and a Master’s of Science Degree in Health and Human
Performance from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga in 2003. Her master’s thesis studied the overuse shoulder injuries in age-group swimmers.
McClanahan is a long-standing member of the American Swim Coaches Association with a Level 4
coach’s certification, USA Swimming, American College of Sports Medicine, Women Leaders in College
Sports and WeCoach. She began her swimming career at age 11 with the Cleveland Aqua Tigers, and at
age 13 made the journey south to join the Greater Chattanooga Aquatic Club.