Catherine (Cathy) Walsh Hay is one of Chester County’s most successful high school women’s swimming coaches. As an undergraduate at West Chester State College (now West Chester University) Cathy was the captain of the Women’s Varsity Swimming team for three years, leading the squad to undefeated seasons in every season. Prior to women’s competition being recognized by the NCAA, Cathy was a member of the NAIA national record setting 200 Medley Relay team. After graduation she taught health and physical education at Marple Newton High School where she coached the swimming team to undefeated seasons and a District I Championship (1971), and had similar successes at Immaculata College until the program was discontinued.
She was appointed head Women’s Swimming coach at Villa Maria Academy High School when the program was inaugurated for the 1999-2000 season. Beginning in 2003 her teams have won fourteen consecutive Women’s AA District One Championships (2003-2016), and six consecutive Women’s AA State Championships (2011-2016). Her string of consecutive PIAA State Championships is tied for the most consecutive championships in any sport and division in PIAA history. During regular season competition, her teams have compiled a remarkable string of victories and have lost only one meet since 2010-2011. Cathy has received numerous honors for her coaching including three Chester County Coach of the Year awards, and the 2012 and 2016 Pennsylvania State Swimming Coach of the Year. In 2015 she was inducted into the West Chester University Hall of Fame. Equally as impressive as her high school coaching career is Cathy and her husband John’s devotion to teaching swimming to thousands of children throughout Chester County over the past fifty years. As coach at both the West Chester Country Club and currently at Whitford Country Club, Cathy’s teams have won numerous Chester County Country Club Championships. Many of her swimmers distinguished themselves as high school All-Americans, NCAA All-Americans, and Olympic Trial Qualifiers. Cathy’s husband, John Hay, was inducted into the Chester County Sports Hall in 2010, a few months after succumbing to cancer.