OXFORD, Ohio – Dave Jennings, Miami University Athletics’ all-time winningest single-sport coach, has announced that he will step down next month as the RedHawks’ head coach for women’s swimming and diving.
“I’ve been thinking about retirement for a little while,” said Jennings. “Now, it’s time to move on and do some other things and spend more time with my family. I feel like I’m leaving the team in a good shape. The new coach will have a really good nucleus to work with. I’m going to miss working with the student-athletes, but there comes a time when you have to look at yourself personally. I’m really proud that I’ve been able to help people in the pool and contribute a bit to their success outside of the pool, out in the real world. It’s been a real honor to be associated with the girls in the program. Miami has been my life. I’m not going anywhere; I’m going to stay right here and be a loyal supporter.
“I want to thank Miami University, particularly Dick Shrider who hired me back in 1982,” Jennings continued. “There have been a lot of fine people who’ve helped me and Miami’s swimming program through the years.”
The winner of 16 Mid-American Conference titles since joining Miami’s staff in 1982, Jennings’ 2012-13 squad had a 10-1 dual meet record and captured the MAC title, despite not winning a single individual nor relay title. It marked the first time that a MAC team champion had achieved that feat.
During Jennings' career, the one common theme was his ability to win championships. Five classes—1986, 1987, 1988, 1999 and 2005—won every MAC title in which they competed. Jennings achieved a conference title "four-peat" three times. Jennings began his career at Miami by winning six straight titles from 1983-88. He won four in a row from 1996-99, then four in a row again from 2002-05.
His RedHawks won MAC titles in 10 of the last 18 meets and they finished as the champion or the runner-up in the conference in 25 of his 31 seasons.
"It is with gratitude that we recognize the contributions Coach Jennings has made to Miami University during his 31 years at the helm," said Jennie Gilbert, Miami's Associate Athletic Director, Compliance Coordinator and SWA. "Through his leadership, the women’s swimming and diving program embodied our vision of the “Culture of Champions,” with the highest graduation rates and a dynasty of MAC championship titles. Dave displayed unwavering dedication and loyalty to our student-athletes, while representing Miami University with love and honor. We thank him for his service and wish them well in his retirement."
Jennings, a 1996 inductee into the Miami Athletic Hall of Fame, had an all-time dual meet record of 265-105 in 31 seasons (.716). In duals against MAC competition, his RedHawk teams won 82 percent of their meets (151-33). During a span from 2002-07, Miami won 48 straight MAC dual-meet victories under Jennings’ direction.
Prior to arriving in Oxford, Jennings was a teacher and head men's swimming coach at Upper Arlington High School from 1979 through 1982. He was voted Coach of the Year in Ohio following the 1982 season. During his tenure at Upper Arlington, Jennings also was director of the Amateur Upper Arlington Swim Club. Prior to assuming the coaching position at Upper Arlington, Jennings served as a swimming instructor and coach at Coshocton High School in Coshocton, Ohio, where he led the school to a top-ten team finish and its first conference championship.
Jennings is a 1978 graduate of Ashland College where he earned a bachelor's of science degree in physical education. While at Ashland, Jennings was a member of a swimming team that placed second at the Penn-Ohio Championships and ninth at the NCAA Division III Championships.
Originally from Lexington, Ohio, Jennings and his wife, Kathy, have two sons, Blake and Tyler, and reside in Oxford.
DAVE JENNINGS BY THE NUMBERS (through 2012-13 Season):
265 -- Career Dual Meet Wins at Miami
104 -- Mid-American Conference Individual Champions
30 -- Mid-American Conference Individual Relay Champions (120 individuals)
32 -- Senior National Qualifiers
33 -- NCAA Qualifiers
16 -- Mid-American Conference Championships (1983-88, 1996-99, 2002-05, 2009, 2013)
10 – MAC Coach of the Year awards
9 -- Mid-American Conference Runner-Up Finishes
8 -- Olympic Trial Qualifiers
5 -- Mid-American Conference Scholar Athletes of the Year
4 -- Mid-American Conference Divers of the Year
2 -- Mid-American Conference Swimmers of the Year
3 -- NCAA All-Americans
3 -- Miami Female Athlete of the Year (Carly Iaguli-1998, Kelsey Vehr 2009, 2010)