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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Class of 2019 Highlands Athletic Hall of Fame: Debbie Reed Keefe

Class of 2019

Debbie Reed Keefe, class of 1968, was an outstanding athlete and coach at Highlands. As a swimmer during high school, she won 13 state championships and set 8 state records.  From 1964-68, she went undefeated in the 50 and 100 meter freestyle events, and she won both events for 5 consecutive years at the state level. Debbie earned All-American honors in 1967 and 1968. In 1965, Debbie was a member of the United States team in the Canadian-American International swim meet.

After graduation, Debbie attended the University of Cincinnati on an academic scholarship and swam for UC’s club team all four years. Debbie’s time in college came before the NCAA sanctioned women’s swimming as an official sport.  During college, she began her coaching career with the Cincinnati Marlins, something that holds special meaning because Keefe was an original member of the Marlins. Later, she coached at the University of Cincinnati, Highlands High School and was the aquatics director for Mariemont High School for 25 years.

As a math teacher, Debbie spent 41 years in high school classrooms, making numbers come to life for students at Highlands and Mariemont. She presently teaches at the University of Cincinnati as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Mathematics. Her coaching career at Highlands lasted from 1972-1980, during which she won 8 consecutive NKAC titles and a regional championship in 1980. Debbie was named the NKAC Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Northern Kentucky Athletic Director’s Hall of Fame in 1992.

Debbie and her husband Tom, have been married for 45 years and currently live in Mt. Lookout.  They have 2 daughters and 4 grandchildren.

The Hall of Fame ceremony in the HHS PAC begins at 3:00 p.m. on 9/22. That event is free and open to the public.

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