USMS Award Recipient

Capt. Ransom J. Arthur M.D. Award


Recipient: Tom Boak
Year: 1991
LMSC: Gulf

Tom Boak, the 1991 Capt. Ransom J. Arthur M.D. Award recipient, began playing tennis to lose weight in 1974 but by 1977, he had grown bored and added lap swimming to his fitness routine at the Woodlands Athletic Center. It wasn’t long before Dick Smith, Director of the Swim and Athletic Center and two-time Olympic Diving Coach, encouraged Tom to try competitive swimming. By 1978, Tom had competed in two San Antonio-hosted competitions, the latter of which was the 1978 USMS Short Course Nationals – and he was hooked!

In 1981, Tom was involved with the bid by The Woodlands for hosting the 1982 Masters Short Course Masters Nationals.  Later in 1981, he attended his first USMS Convention where The Woodlands won the bid to host the 1982 Masters Short Course Nationals.  Subsequently, he was appointed Championship Committee Chair. Tom has attended every convention since 1981, served as USMS President from 1985-1989, and became active in Masters Swimming International during his term as USMS President. He founded the Woodlands Masters Swim Team and directed the 1982 SCY National Championships and the 1987 and 1990 LCM National Championships. In addition, he founded the Woodlands Relays in 1984.

Tom Boak has held positions at all levels from team to local to national and somehow still managed to swim well, achieving USMS All American status in 1988 and 1989. He was also the champion in his age group in all three breaststroke events at the Brisbane World Championships 1988.