Swimming & Diving

 Derek Perkins
Derek  Perkins

Associate Head Coach

Years at UK:
Second Season

Derek Perkins begins his third season at the University of Kentucky and first year as associate head coach.

Perkins, a native of Georgetown, Ky., swam at Kentucky from 1998-2002. He returned to UK in 2011 after serving as an assistant coach at Clemson University, where he worked primarily as the Tigers' sprint coach. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Transylvania University and has also spent time as an assistant coach at Emory University.

Perkins was named the 2011 Collegeswimming.com Rising Assistant Coach of the Year while at Clemson and played an integral part in the Tigers' men's team earning its first top-25 finish in school history at the NCAA Championships. Under Perkins, Clemson had four individual NCAA qualifiers and their first men's relay qualifier since 1989.

Perkins coached the 200-medley relay and 50 freestyle event winners at the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. Under his tutelage, 20 school records were broken at Clemson.

At Emory University, Perkins served as the assistant swim coach, recruiting coordinator and aquatics coordinator from 2004-09. During his five seasons at Emory, he coached back-to-back national championship teams in 2005 and 2006, 12 individual national champions, four relay national champions, 58 All-Americans and 55 conference champions. In total, an impressive 93 school records were broken in the five seasons Perkins was at EU.

Prior to his time at Emory, Perkins coached at Transylvania University from 2002-04. There, he organized seasonal swim workouts and planned and designed strength and conditioning programs. He helped lead the swimming and diving program to its first-ever conference championship and coached the Transylvania Student-Athlete of the Year in 2004. Ten team records were set during Perkins' two years as assistant coach.

Perkins closed out his swimming career at Kentucky in 2002 and graduated in 2003 with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. He and his family reside in Lexington. His wife Cassie was a standout diver for Transylvania University. The couple have two children, Halle and Riley.

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