Rick Jenkins has coached the Aquinas women since 2009 coached the men for the third time this fall. The girls placed 4th against all in the Kansas State Swim Meet last year after winning the 5-A State Championship in 2010.
He was assistant swim coach at Kansas University from 1979-1983. There he coached many All-American’s and Big 8 Champions. In 1983 he was an integral part of the coaching staff whose swimmers placed 7th at the NCAA Championships. For that surprising performance Gary Kempf and the staff was awarded the NCAA National Coach of the Year Award at the 1983 NCAA Championships.
Jenkins went on to coach the Wichita Swim Club age group program from 1983-1985. Most recently he coached the Overland Park Waves age group recreational program from 2003-2006. Some of those Waves swimmers are current Saints swimmers.
As a swimmer at Creighton Prep High School in Omaha, Nebraska he was an All-American in butterfly, backstroke and freestyle. He scored multiple times in the Big 8 Championships and contributed to two Big 8 titles in 1978 and 1979. He was a part of the Big 8 record setting relay that went to the NCAA Championships in 1979. His swimming career ended with a shoulder injury after his sophomore season. Then he began coaching as an assistant.
He was blessed to have committed coaches at his high school and AAU programs and is honored to help these Saints set and reach their goals. He believes in his swimmers. Everybody wins. His philosophy can best be understood within this quote from Anonymous: “Competition is not so much a way to compare our gifts as a way to celebrate them.” His hope would be that his swimmers would gain short term victories and a lifetime sport which would benefit them even more as they age.
He currently has two students at Aquinas. Anna is a senior and Julia is a freshman, both are swimming on this years team. Jimmy graduated from Aquinas and is a junior in Mechanical Engineering at KU, Cathryn is a sophomore in Educational Administration at Notre Dame. Molly is in 6th grade at Holy Spirit majoring in fun.
He and his wife have owned and operated USA Baby for 19 years, the last 5 years at 105th and Marty in Overland Park, Ks. In 2006 he established The Clean Efficient Energy Company where he does Energy Audits for home owners, Energy Star certification for home builders and government entities and Green Building Verification for the National Association of Home Builders.