SwimmingWingate Hires Kevin Hennessy as Head Swimming Coach

Wingate Hires Kevin Hennessy as Head Swimming Coach

Wingate University athletic director Joe Reich announces the promotion of Kevin Hennessy (’10) to head men’s and women’s swimming coach and director of aquatics. He spent the 2022-23 season as the associate head coach for men’s and women’s swimming.

Prior to his promotion, Hennessy spent seven seasons as a WUSWIM assistant coach. This fall, he marks 18 years with the Bulldogs as a student-athlete, alumnus and coach. Hennessy replaces veteran head coach Kirk Sanocki, who stepped away from his post earlier this month.

What They Are Saying
Kevin Hennessy, in his own words

“When I arrived on Wingate’s campus in the fall of 2006 as a freshman swimmer, I never thought I would have the opportunity to be the head coach in the future. It is an honor to be in this position and hard to say exactly how excited, grateful and blessed I feel.”

“Being a WUSWIM alumnus, this program holds a special place with me. I look forward to leading WU Swim into the future and continuing the tradition of excellence that Coach Sanocki established. I can’t wait for the season to get started with the team and our great group of coaches.”

“Thank you to Kirk Sanocki for all you have done to help me grow as a student-athlete, a coach and a person. Thank you to Joe Reich and Wingate University Athletics for this opportunity. WU WHAT? WU SWIM!”

Kirk Sanocki
Wingate Swimming head coach for 22 years

“Shortly after Kevin Hennessy graduated from Wingate, I got word that he landed a coaching job with the Coast Guard Blue Dolphins Aquatics Club. He was going to continue to prosper from his father Steve, who was the head coach/CEO of this organization. During Kevin’s time as a swimmer at Wingate he possessed all the attributes you would expect from a coaches’ kid. His communication, organization, knowledge, temperament and work ethic were all ahead of the average freshman when he arrived.”

“After seeing that Kevin would continue with coaching as a career, I gave him a call to see if he would be interested in coming back to Wingate to tackle the college coaching ranks. Showing maturity beyond his age again, he stated he would love to do so, but he wanted to learn more in his current arena, which he felt would better prepare him for college recruiting and coaching.”

“About three years later, he called me back when we had an opening and we embarked on a great professional relationship. I felt Kevin’s personality and skill set would complement me perfectly and we would make a good coaching combination. He understood our system, my coaching style and more importantly, had passion for the sport. Together we prepared for him to eventually run his own program. I’m thrilled that Joe Reich, Dr. Heather Miller and Dr. Rhett Brown feel that way with the naming of him as my successor.”

The Kevin Hennessy (‘10) file

– Helped Wingate sweep the inaugural South Atlantic Conference swimming titles in February
– The WU women finished sixth at the ’23 NCAAs, while the men claimed eighth place
– Enjoyed one of the best recent WUSWIM distance performances at NCAAs in 2022
– Coached Kate Agger (’22) to a 500 Freestyle national championship in 2022
– Agger was named Wingate’s female Athlete of the Year the same year
– Miguel Marcos (’25) was the school’s freshman male AOTY in 2022
– Jonas Soerensen (’22) received his second Academic All-America® honor in 2022
– Hennessy helped WUSWIM win three Bluegrass Mountain Conference championships during his student-athlete days
– Received CSCAA Scholar All-American individual honors as well
– Earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology with a psychology minor at Wingate
– Coached Coast Guard Blue Dolphins Swim Team in Virginia for six years prior to his WU return
– Married Jordan (Filchock) Hennessy in Nov. 2019; they welcomed their first child in 2022
– Son of Steve and Sandy Hennessy
– Avid New York Mets fan

What They Are Saying

Kirk Sanocki

“Kevin Hennessy has played a large part of all the major roles and decisions since we returned from Covid after the 2020 pandemic cut short the NCAA championships. In addition to recruiting and making scholarship offers, he has had complete day-to-day training responsibilities for our D group, as they are called.”

“Kevin has had major success, most recently with Miguel Marcos on the men’s side and Kate Agger on the women’s side, two of the top swimmers in our team’s history. Kate garnered our first women’s distance national championship in 2022. Kevin has now surrounded himself with coaches who will help complement his skill set. I’m excited for his tenure to begin, leading the teams to even greater heights. I’m proud to call him friend and will be rooting hard from the sidelines! As always … WU What? WU Swim!”

Queens University of Charlotte head swimming coach Jeff Dugdale

“I could not be more excited for Kevin Hennessy and the announcement of him becoming the next head coach at Wingate. Kevin has patiently waited for his turn, serving as a loyal associate head coach. Now is his time and I have no doubt he will shine.”

Wingate Swimming alumna Kate Agger (’22)

“I am beyond excited and proud about the announcement of Kevin Hennessy’s promotion to head coach. Kevin has been such an integral part of the Wingate swimming team for many years. He has earned the trust and respect from countless swimmers. Over the past five years, I’ve learned a great deal from Kevin and attribute much of my success to his coaching style. I’m thrilled and honored to now have the opportunity to work with him side-by-side in a coaching role. Congratulations, Kevin!”

Wingate Swimming alumnus Ethan Hathcock (’23)

“I am so excited to hear that Kevin Hennessy will be taking the helm for Wingate Swimming! I can’t think of a more deserving person to lead WUSWIM for the foreseeable future. Kevin has been with the team for a long time, so I know he can keep the great traditions of WUSWIM going.”

“Kevin was my group coach for my four years on the team. He has a great sense of connecting with his swimmers as well as providing thoughtful, unopinionated feedback after every swim. Coach Kevin was a mentor, a coach to help analyze my performance, a guy to joke around with at practice and a shoulder to cry on whenever I needed it. I have no doubt in my mind that Wingate Swimming will continue to have success with Kevin as head coach. WUWhat? WUSwim!”

Wingate Swimming quick facts

– Wingate has 45 NCAA national championship swims lifetime (31 women, 14 men)
– At NCAAs, the WU women have earned second place once (2016) and third twice
– The ‘Dogs have earned fifth place at NCAA men’s meet once with five sixth-place showings
– WUSWIM student-athletes have earned Academic All-America® at-large team honors from the College Sports Communicators 36 times (20 men, 16 women)
– Wingate has 11 Bluegrass Mountain Conference titles (seven men’s, four women’s)
– The Bulldogs joined the South Atlantic Conference last fall as the league sponsored swimming for the first time

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Wingate Athletics. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com. 

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