Kevin Clements enters his second year as a member of the LSU coaching staff after completing a successful first season in which he helped coach the women’s team to a 16th-place finish at the NCAA Championships as well as nine All-Americans at both the men’s and women’s meets.
The Tigers’ assistant coach also serves as LSU’s recruiting coordinator and worked to sign a pair of top-15 recruiting classes last season, which are each the best in school history. This season, he’ll continue to play a pivotal role in the training and development of current swimmers on both teams.
Clements, who swam for Ralph Crocker at Auburn, returned to the Southeastern Conference in a coaching capacity in 2008, six years after concluding one of the most decorated distance-freestyle careers in the Tigers’ illustrious program history.
A 14-time NCAA All-American and five-time SEC champion at Auburn from 1999-2002, Clements was a vital component of four SEC championship teams and the 1999 national championship squad. He set five school records during his time at Auburn in the 400-yard and 400-meter individual medley races and 400m, 500 and 1650 freestyle events. His program-best mark in the 1650 free remains standing today.
During the 2000 NCAA Championships, Clements set an American record in the 400 I.M. en route to an Auburn high-points award. He was also the SEC scoring leader at both the 2001 and 2002 conference meets.
Following his sophomore season, the Rowland Heights, California, native registered top-five finishes in three events at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials, including a third-place finish in the 200 I.M. Clements was also a three-time USA National team member, representing the squad at the 1999 and 2001 World University Games and the 2003 World Championships. At the 2001 World University Games, he earned silver in the 200 I.M. and gold in the 400 I.M. while also swimming to a World University Games record. At the 2003 World Championships, he reached the finals of the 200 I.M., placing seventh, and captured silver as a member of the 4×200 freestyle relay team.
After his stellar collegiate career, Clements swam professionally for Speedo while training with Michael Phelps and the North Baltimore Aquatic Club. In 2003, he was ranked third in the world in the 200 I.M. and recorded the second-fastest 200-I.M. time in U.S. history. Clements also won the U.S. National championship in the 400 I.M. at the 2004 Spring Nationals.
Prior to LSU, Clements was an assistant coach with the University of Maryland from 2005-08 and coached the Terrapins to eight school records and helped a pair of swimmers become NCAA All-Americans. In his first year with the Terrapins, he coached Sasha Malanina to an ACC Championship finish in the 400 I.M. Clements joined the Maryland coaching staff after a head coaching stint with the Roland Run Stingrays and Mariners Swim Club.
“I am extremely excited to be working with Adam again, and I look forward to this upcoming season,” Clements said. “I feel strongly that we are building a championship program.”
Clements is happily married to his wife Jaqi, and the couple has a son, Chase (1).
THE KEVIN CLEMENTS FILE
Born: Feb. 27, 1980
High School: John A. Rowland High School, Rowland Heights, Calif.; 1999
College: Auburn University; B.F.A. in Graphic Design, 2002
Wife: Jaqi Clements
Children: Chase (1)
“A year before the 2004 Olympic games I was challenged to take my swimming career to the next level. As a teammate, Kevin pushed me everyday in practice and competitions and offered a maturity in the sport that I still believe in today. He was a great training partner and is a wonderful friend.”
— 14-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps