Drury's female swimmers and divers entered the 2000-01 season as national champions-again. They captured the NCAA-II national title for the fourth year in a row. The men's team has only a smidgen of catching up to do; they won the 1999 championship and placed second at the 2000 nationals. This extraordinary success comes under the continuing guidance of a Drury alumnus, Brian Reynolds, who became Drury's head coach in 1983, just one year after graduating. Reynolds had learned from the best: Jack Steck, Drury's coach from 1968 to 1983. Steck led Drury to its first national championships in 1981 and '82. He coaches now at Southwest Missouri State University. Reynolds in turn led Drury's aquatic sports program through another major change, adding a women's program in 1984.
The program's record is hard to summarize in numbers, but consider this: 153 Drury men and 53 Drury women have been named swimming and diving All-Americans-most more than once, many for four consecutive years. Five Drury swimmers have received NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships since 1996: Melissa Anderson-Knapp, Tara Bewley, Viktoria Gadd, Courtney Martellucci and Chris Maender. Maender also was a finalist for the NCAA's Walter E. Byers Scholarship, the NCAA's highest academic honor. In Maender's years at Drury he never received a grade lower than "A."
Drury's swimming and diving teams continue to include some of the university's best students. On the 1999-2000 men's squad, Jacob Cook, Dean Lehmkuhler and Than-Uy Phan-Tan made the College Swim Coaches Association Academic All-American Team. Among the women, Kim Bahmer, Julianne Frugé, Sarah Henderson and Vanessa Young were similarly honored. Dean Lehmkuhler and Kathleen Hayes were nominated for NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships.
On the women's championship team, freshman Jennifer Klemme won four events and was the meet's Most Valuable Swimmer. Klemme also was the only NCAA Division II swimmer nominated for the Honda Award, a national honor for outstanding female athletes. Three male swimmers were both individual and relay champions. Dean Lehmkuhler was named the national meet's Most Valuable Diver. Three swimmers-Jennifer Klemme, Megan Krueger and Bill Rose-qualified for the Olympic trials.