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Nancy Gailey

Coaching ∙ Beaver

"Always finish with your best" is a favorite phrase that Nancy Krut Gailey could commonly be heard saying across the pool deck. That is exactly what she did when she completed her illustrious 20-year coaching career as Beaver Area High School’s head varsity swimming and diving coach in 2011. In her final year, she helped her swimmers and divers capture the program’s first ever WPIAL gold medal, second all-state recognition, fourth undefeated season, and shared her passion for the sport by mentoring her son as the assistant swimming coach.

Gailey’s talent and love for swimming were apparent at a young age. In her youth she excelled as a member of the Sunrise Aqua Club. In her high school years she captained the New Brighton varsity swimming team and is the holder of five school records.

In 1991, Gailey became the head coach of Beaver Area High School’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams that went a combined 0-16. Her teams put their trust and faith in her and they knew that with enough determination and practice, Gailey would lead them to success. Over the next 19 years Gailey would become the winningest swimming coach in school history with a combined 303 victories.

The program celebrated 15 consecutive winning seasons under her leadership. Hundreds of swimmers and divers qualified for the MAC, WPIAL, and PIAA championship meets under her guidance. She coached her teams to five AA section titles (1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2011), 84 school records, one All-American recognition, 8 All State honors, 10 All State honorable mention honors and two MAC runner-up team championship finishes.

During Gailey’s tenure as coach, over 2,000 club and varsity swimmers and divers were fortunate enough to have her knowledge and wisdom imparted onto them. Her legacy at the school remains that anyone could become a member of her team as long as they were willing to put their best effort forward. She continually emphasized the importance of hard work and teamwork. Gailey required that members of her team excelled both on the pool deck and in the classroom.

Truly believing that everyone should be given an opportunity to learn how to swim, and as an avid volunteer for the Special Olympics organization for over 20 years, Gailey founded the Special Olympics swimming program for Beaver Area students in 2006. She also founded the Beaver Community Swimming Club where many of her students learned how to swim and then passed on the skills that they acquired as instructors. Her teams learned to value the importance of giving back and volunteering within the community.

Gailey humbly credits a lot of her success to her assistant coaches and family. Her caring nature, innovative coaching style, and remarkable leadership ability are just a few of the attributes that make her the most accomplished swimming and diving coach in the history of Beaver Area High School.