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Remembering George Haines

Named coach of the century in 2001

Randy Devins | February 7, 2003

George Haines (1924-2006) died on May 1, 2006 after suffering a major stroke in 2000. George was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as Coach of the Century in 2001 and as an Honor Coach in 1977. The following text was included in the program for the induction ceremony of that year.

THE RECORD: Coached for 26 years. 1960 U. S. Womens Olympic Team Coach. 1964 U. S. Mens Olympic Assistant Coach. 1968 U. S. Mens Olympic Team Coach. 1972 U. S. Womens Olympic Assistant Coach. Recipient of the National Collegiate and Scholastic Swimming Trophy. A.S.C.A. "Coach of the Year" 1964, 1966, 1967, 1972. Swam for Huntington, Ind., YMCA under Coach Glen Hummer. Coached Santa Clara Swim Club and now at UCLA. Haines has been coach of the year more than any other person. Recipient of 1965 AAU Swimming Award.

George Haines won 35 national AAU team championships - 26 womens and nine mens with the Santa Clara Swim Club. He began swimming for Glen Hummer at the Huntington Ind., YMCA, got tired of waiting for Kalamazoo College to build its pool after the war and moved to Santa Clara where he coached 25 years before moving on to his first college job, not at Kalamazoo but at UCLA. Among his hundreds of national champions, world and American record holders at Santa Clara was his own daughter, Kerry. His superstars included Chris Von Saltza, Steve Clark, Claudia Kolb, Don Schollander, and Donna de Varona.

Courtesy of The Henning Library at the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

A quick note…I spent two seasons at UCLA as an understudy with George. Our contact was set up by his college coach. I noticed that reference to his collegiate experience was missing here. My father, George Devins, and George Haines had the same coach—Charlie Walker (deceased) at San Jose State. He was familiar with the Bay Area years prior to his Santa Clara career. Seems to me he also coached in the East for a short time, at Foxcatcher, a Dupont facility near Philadelphia.

 

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