Photo Courtesy: Auburn Athletics
Jeana Kempe, who spent the past six seasons as part of the staff at LSU, has been hired as an assistant coach by Gary Taylor at Auburn, Taylor announced on Monday.
“I’m really excited to welcome Jeana to the Auburn Swimming and Diving Family,” Taylor said. “I think one of the things that really excited me the most about Jeana was her energy, enthusiasm and passion for Auburn and really wanting to have an opportunity to be here. I am drawn to people that are drawn to me and that are drawn to Auburn University and Jeana was from day one. She is a ball of energy, very out-going and very easy to communicate with.
“Jeana will be a fantastic recruiter and will get to know her athletes on a really deep and personal level,” Taylor continued. “She comes to us with great swimming experience at the NCAA Division I level at UCLA but she also has some really good coaching experience at Northern Arizona first and then over the past six years at LSU. She will be a tremendous asset to this program in a variety of areas.”
Kempe began her career at LSU as an assistant coach in Oct. 2012 before being promoted to Associate Head Women’s Coach in April 2017.
“I am honored and really excited to be a part of the future of the Auburn Swimming and Diving program,” Kempe said. “Gary’s personality is infectious and his vision for Auburn is second-to-none.”
During Kempe’s time at LSU the women’s team has reached new heights, finishing fifth at the SEC Championships in 2016, its highest finish since the 2011-12 season. The program also sent a program record 11 swimmers and divers to NCAA Championships in back-to-back years.
Kempe also aided in individual success, especially the development of Caley Oquist into the top backstroke specialist in program history. In four seasons, Oquist broke school records in the 100 and 200 backstroke and qualified for NCAA Championships three straight seasons.
In addition to working with Oquist, Kempe contributed to Colleen O’Neil’s growth in the breaststroke events. In three seasons under Kempe, O’Neil qualified individually for NCAA’s in the 100 breast and 200 breast and set the second-fastest 100 and 200 breast times in school history. At the 2016 NCAA Championships, O’Neil was also a part of the school record 400-medley relay team.
Kempe has also worked with men’s team members Silas Dejean, Garrett House and Harry Ackland during her time in Baton Rouge. Dejean was a part of the 400-medley relay school record team and also qualified for NCAA Championships with two relays in 2015. Dejean, Ackland and House also swam times on LSU’s top-10 list.
“I would like to thank Dave (Geyer) and Doug Shaffer for the opportunity to be a part of the LSU program over the last six years,” Kempe said. “I appreciate the time I have spent in Baton Rouge growing as a coach. My time here has shaped the person I am today.”
Prior to her stint at LSU, Kempe served as an assistant coach for two years at Northern Arizona. Kempe led NAU swimmers to 14 NCAA ‘B’ cuts and 14 school records. In addition, 28 program all-time top-five swims were registered.
NAU posted two top-three finishes at the WAC Championships with Kempe as an assistant coach, including a second place finish in 2012. Four NAU swimmers were named CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major All-Americans during the 2011-12 season. The swimmers won five individual titles during the 2012 WAC Championships.
During her time in Flagstaff, Kempe also worked with developing the training schedule and dry land programs, organizing recruiting logistics and coordinating alumni relations.
Kempe, the former Jeana Fuccillo, was a four-year letter winner at UCLA. She helped lead the Bruins to a pair of second-place finishes in the Pac-12 Conference during her career. She was a three-time top-eight finisher at the Pac-12 Championships and served as team captain her senior season.
Following her collegiate swimming career, Kempe worked in the UCLA athletic department. Kempe mentored student-athletes and helped them succeed in the class room.
Kempe worked as an academic graduate assistant in the NAU athletic department while pursuing her graduate studies in the college of education. As a graduate assistant, she helped the academic coordinators in eligibility and performance of student-athletes.
While in Flagstaff, Kempe gained coaching experience working with the Flagstaff Peaks Aquatic Club.
Prior to swimming at UCLA, Kempe was the Illinois High School Swimmer of the Year, a Junior National Champion, Olympic Trials qualifier (2000 and 2004), National Junior Team member and a US National Finalist.
Kempe, a native of Lebanon, Ill., was an Athletic Director’s Honor Roll selection at UCLA and earned her undergraduate degree in sociology in 2007. She completed her master’s degree in educational psychology and human relations at NAU in December 2009.
Kempe and her husband, Andrew, have a daughter, Avery.
The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Auburn Athletics. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@ SwimmingWorld.com.
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