Milwaukee takes second overall at league meet
Panthers sit narrowly in second with one day two go
Senior backstroker topped a school record
Stelpflug leds way with school record in impressive 1000 free
Milwaukee looks for fifth men's, third women's titles in school history
Entering his third season as head men's and women's swimming and diving coach, Kyle Clements has led the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to unprecedented heights.
Last season proved to be a record-setting one for UWM, even more so than in years past. Clements led the men's team to its third-consecutive title at the Horizon League Championships with a record-setting margin of victory, while the women also won the league crown back in March for just the second time in school history. Clements was named Horizon League Coach of the Year on both sides, the third time he has won the award in just his second season.
The men's team dominated every time they entered the pool, starting off with the team's first-ever win over in-state rival Wisconsin in the season-opener. That victory set the tone as Milwaukee then cruised through the rest of its schedule to just its second undefeated season in school history, finishing an impressive 10-0 before taking the conference title.
The women's team also had a truly remarkable season, capped by their second Horizon League title in school history and the first since 2001. Clements saw Milwaukee swimmer Emily McClellan post two NCAA 'A' cut times, a first for the Horizon League that automatically qualify an individual for the NCAA Championships.
McClellan was also one of three Panthers to swim at this past summer's U.S. Olympic Trials, just missing a trip to London after an incredible sixth-place finish in the 100 breaststroke.
In all, Milwaukee broke 17 school records 30 different times during 2011-12 campaign. That Panther team also set six new league records, five Klotsche Natatorium records and three freshman records to cap a more-than memorable season.
In 2010, Clements was named head coach after two years as the top assistant and immediately produced a champion. In just his first season at the helm, he led both the men's and women's teams to an impressive 10-3 overall record, with the men winning the Horizon League Championship for the second-straight season. Clements also was named the Horizon League Coach of the Year for men's swimming in just his first year on the job.
The incredible achievements by the team have rewritten the record book, as 46 total records were eclipsed 68 different times in just his first year at the helm. Clements has also helped coach 31 individual league champions over the course of the past three seasons and sent the first-ever female in Horizon League history and the first ever Panther to swim in the NCAA Championships both of the past two years. Of those 31 league champs, 12 broke league records in the process.
"Each athlete here has their own personal goals, but each person's number one goal is a team championship," Clements said. "This is an attitude that we will take into each practice, meet, and into the weight room. Personal success is very important, but each member of this program has committed themselves to that goal. When you make that commitment to something bigger than yourself and you do all that you can to reach it, no matter what the final conference place is, you're going to be a champion."
The 39 dual victories by the women's team over the past three years mark the highest four-year total in program history. The 13 victories in 2008-09 also set a school mark. On the men's side, 37 dual victories marks the highest four-year total since 1993-96 and the team posted four-straight winning seasons for the first time since 2000.
Clements came to Milwaukee from Marshall University, where he served as the volunteer assistant coach for the women's swimming & diving team in his last season.
Clements earned his undergraduate degree in aquatics from Ball State in 2007, while also minoring in teaching aquatics. He spent four years as a student assistant coach for the Ball State swim team while earning his degree.