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Kerry O'Brien Inducted Into Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame

Coach Kerry O'Brien

Long-time swim coach Kerry O'Brien of Walnut Creek Masters has been inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame. Kerry recently retired from coaching after coaching the Walnut Creek Masters for over 40 years. He was voted USMS Coach of the Year in 1987. In 2008, he was awarded the Grassroots Coaching Award. That award is now known as "The Kerry O'Brien Coaches Award".

Kerry had a huge impact on his team. He helped swimmers learn to swim, break records, and win awards. He even babysat some of the babies for the parents who brought their kids to swim practice.

As a swimmer, I kept jumping around teams because I was moving and switching jobs. In the end, I always found myself coming back to Walnut Creek. I would commute from Alameda to Walnut Creek to Fremont because I knew the benefit of Kerry's coaching. He created a great culture on the team. Walnut Creek Masters is a large team, but it has a small team feel.

Kerry balanced being a performance-oriented coach and coaxing the best out of his swimmers without pushing them too hard. I tended to focus too much on race results and forgot about having fun or worrying only about what was in my control. Kerry reminded me that having fun can positively impact performance. He helped me mature not just as a swimmer, but also as a person. A great coach is able to help you beyond your swimming life, and Kerry has done that for countless athletes on his squad. Congratulations Coach Kerry!

"One more hundred!"- Kerry, during the last minute of warm-up during practice

Read the article on Swimming World Magazine here

By: Jenn Hwang

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