Athletics hires softball, swimming head coaches


The Saint Francis softball and swimming programs will both be under the direction of new head coaches in 2018-19. Jessica O’Donnell was announced as the new softball head coach in July and Kyle Almoney was hired as the head coach of the swimming program earlier this month.

O’Donnell takes over a highly successful program that will be seeking its third straight NEC championship in the spring. Almoney will lead a Red Flash swimming team that placed third at the NEC finals last year.

O’Donnell spent five years as an assistant at Villanova before accepting the head coaching job at SFU. Last spring, she helped lead the Wildcats to a 27-24-1 overall and a 10-8 mark in the Big East Conference. The Wildcats posted winning records in each of the last three seasons. Seventeen Villanova players earned All-Big East honors during that period.

‘’For me, taking the next step to become a head coach, I knew I wanted to be in a place very similar in beliefs and core values (as Villanova),” said O’Donnell. “I found that in Saint Francis.’’

Almoney arrives at SFU after leading the Millersville women’s swimming program for the last 12 seasons. His teams at the eastern Pennsylvania school posted a 42-36 dual-meet record. He left the Division II program as the winningest coach in its history.

Millersville finished 10th at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference finals five times in the last six years.

During his swimming career, Almoney competed at West Chester University and earned PSAC Rookie-of-the-Year honors in 2000.

‘’I am very excited to take this position,” said Almoney. “My first step is really about building our confidence – to know that we can get better and we can succeed in everything that we do, in the pool and in the classroom.’’

The Red Flash swimming team opens its season Sept. 29, when it hosts Bowling Green in a dual meet at the Stokes Natatorium.