MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Nov. 19, 2015) – Milligan College has announced that Kelly Chism will take over the helm of the swimming program beginning in March, 2016.
“We are excited to have Coach Chism join our staff in the spring,” said Vice President for Athletics and Student Development Mark Fox. “With her competitive background in the sport sand her enthusiasm, we feel she can establish a nationally relevant program. Her love for the sport and for Milligan is without question.”
Current Head Coach Jes Sutton will remain in charge of the swimming program for the remainder of 2015-16 before retiring at the end of the season.
Chism is currently in her second stint at Milligan, joining the Buffs’ swimming staff as an assistant coach last August after a successful four-year career as a student-athlete at Milligan from 2010 to 2014.
“I look forward to having the opportunity to expand the team and its accomplishments,” said Chism. “We are looking to become a competitive force in the upcoming seasons and within the conference. My main focus right now is on recruiting to set a foundation for success. Our goal is then to be able to get many more individual national (qualifying) times than the team has had in years past.”
Chism first came to Milligan as a freshman in 2010, specializing in the breaststroke and the 1,650. In her one year on the Buffs’ swim team, she finished ninth in the NAIA in both the 100 and the 200 breaststroke, and she broke five school records. She then went on to compete in seven races at the NAIA Swimming and Diving National Championships in St. Louis. Chism placed 30th and 31st at nationals in the breaststroke.
As a prep standout, Chism was a Nevada State swimming champion for Palo Verde High School in Las Vegas. She took home first at state in the 200 medley relay in 2009 and finished top eight at Junior Olympics in high school in the 100 and 200 breaststroke as well as the 400 individual medley.
In her final three years as a collegiate student-athlete, Chism went on to cycle for Milligan under Head Coach Zach Nave, racing in mountain biking for two seasons and cyclocross as a senior. Chism won her conference in the women’s B class for cyclocross in 2014.
Chism actively races in triathlons and is sponsored by Hampton Bicycle Shop. She also qualified for the 2015 Olympic Distance National Championship in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, leaving with a 47th-place finish in her age group in the country and finishing with a time of 2:44, missing the USA National team by only 27 places.
Chism also enjoys running races and has won several local races throughout and around Johnson City. She plans to focus on marathon training as well as to keep specializing in triathlons.