Legendary Coach Ken Kelley Passes Away

Ken Kelley passed away on November 25 at the age of 77. Ken coached for more than four decades in Colorado. For over 30 of those years, he served as the Aquatics Director of the North Jeffco Parks and Recreation District and the Head Coach of the North Jeffco Swim Club. Ken turned North Jeffco into a dominant, top level team in Colorado and nationally. He helped lead a group of swimmers and volunteers on a door to door campaign to petition the City of Arvada to build Meyers Pool.  

In 1988, North Jeffco won the Junior National West meet. That championship was the first ever win by a team outside of California. He coached NJSC to numerous state titles and coached several swimmers to the finals at Nationals and Olympic Trials. He was named the Colorado Coach of the Year in 1989 and received the P-66 Outstanding Service award in 1998.

Over the years, Ken influenced hundreds of swimmers’ lives. He was respected for his competiveness and dedication to the sport. He was a teacher who coached with a scientific approach. He coached work ethic with a sense of humor. Ken mentored many of the coaches on deck today. He will be greatly missed by the swimming community, but his contributions are greatly appreciated and will never be forgotten.

A memorial gathering date is to be determined.