Meet the New Director of Aquatics: Bobby Kelley

Our District has hired Bobby Kelley as the first Director of Aquatics. It comes as we work towards the completion of our new Natatorium in the northwest corner of the school district. Bobby officially begins his role in Waukee on July 1, 2023. He comes to us after serving in a similar position for the Linn-Mar Community School District in Eastern Iowa. To get to know Bobby, we asked him eight questions.

Why do you love swimming? 

Swimming is a lifetime activity that people of all ages can enjoy. The sport is a great way to work out or a wonderful form of relaxation and fun.

What is your Swimming background? 

I have been swimming as an athlete, coach, teacher, parent, and administrator my entire life. I competed as a swimmer as a young child through college and swam for the University of Kansas. After graduating college, I combined my passion for teaching with swimming and began coaching. Since, I have coached YMCA swim teams, USA Swimming swim teams, high school swim teams, and college swim teams. 

In 2013, I opened and began managing the Linn-Mar Aquatic Center. There, I started a learn-to-swim program that now teaches over 3,000 students a year to swim. In my free time, I volunteer and serve Iowa Swimming as its General Chair to its Board of Directors. 

What’s your favorite stroke and why?

My favorite stroke is the breaststroke. The breaststroke kick comes naturally to me. Breaststroke is fun and relaxing to swim. 

What would you like to share about your family? 

My family is a “swimming family.” My wife, Andrea Kelley, works in radiology in mammography. Although she didn’t grow up a competitive swimmer, she has become very involved in the sport since our marriage. She is currently a swim official and has worked at some of the highest-level swim meets in the country, including the Women’s NCAA Division 1 Championships. She officiates club meets, high school meets, and NCAA meets. She has been an official and the starter at many girls and boys High School state meets. 

Andrea and I have three children, all of who swim or have swum. Cameron, our oldest, swam for the University of Minnesota and competed at the 2020 Olympic trials. He currently coaches swimming and is the Senior group lead coach for LMST, a USA Swimming team run by Linn-Mar School District. Shannon is a junior at Coe College studying elementary education. She also teaches and coaches swimming. Luke, our youngest, is a junior in high school and swims with LMST.

What are your plans for the natatorium? 

I plan to collaborate with the district’s leadership to maximize the benefits of the investment the Waukee School District has made in its aquatic center facility. Through swimming, I look to inspire learners who feel valued, challenged and prepared to embrace tomorrow’s opportunities. 

Is there anything that really excites you about our natatorium? 

The facility will be one of the top aquatic facilities in Iowa and the midwest. I can’t wait to get started. 

Can you explain how you’ll work with the swim teams? 

As the facility director, I will assist the school swim coaches by managing and running the facility so that the coaches can focus their time on helping the students. I’m there to help the coaches. 

Why Waukee? 

I’ve been excited about the Waukee Community School District opportunity since I heard about the new facility. The Waukee Natatorium will be an amazing place for students to learn and enjoy the sport of swimming and diving.

The Natatorium is schedule to open this coming fall. Check out a recent video to see some of the progress!