Updated with new Prayer Pager number on January 6
AUBURN, Alabama, December 30. SWIMMING World has just been informed that Auburn head coach Richard Quick has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor today.
Quick, who recently underwent an MRI that found a growth in his brain, had a biopsy today that confirmed the growth was a malignant tumor.
Quick is a six-time U.S. Olympic coach who is tied with Auburn predecessor David Marsh for the career mark of NCAA titles at 12. Quick won seven at the helm of Stanford and five at Texas. He also served as the head coach of the U.S. Olympic teams in 1988, 1996 and 2000 as well as served as an assistant in 1984, 1992 and 2004.
A new Prayer Pager has been set up for Coach Quick at 334-742-5237. Whenever someone says a prayer for him, they can send a page to that number anonymously to cause his pager to vibrate. This will allow him to know when a prayer is said for him. Swimming World also sends its own thoughts and prayers to Coach Quick and his extended family as he battles this cancer.
Unfortunately for the Auburn family, dealing with cancer is not something the team is unused to as Director of Swimming Operations Ralph Crocker passed away in January of 2007 after fighting cancer for quite some time.
Auburn released the following statement later in the day with Coach Quick's response as well as the team's future plans:
Auburn men's and women's head swimming and diving coach Richard Quick has been diagnosed with an inoperable cancerous brain tumor. One of the most recognizable names in the swimming and diving community, Quick is a six-time United States Olympic coach who has directed 12 teams to NCAA titles.
"We're currently in the process of looking for the best care possible to fight this," Quick said. "I want to thank the countless individuals that have passed along their well wishes, thoughts and prayers."
Quick, who served as Auburn's head coach from 1978-82, took over the Tiger program for a second time in 2007. He is in his second season and sixth overall at Auburn.
"Richard is such an energetic person, has an incredibly positive attitude, and is bound by his faith," Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs said. "I know that he's going to meet this challenge head on, just as he has done with every endeavor he's encountered. We ask the Auburn Family to keep Richard and his family in their thoughts and prayers."
While the head coach of both the men's and women's programs at Auburn from 1978-82, Quick built the foundation for where the program is today, leading both programs to a combined four top-10 finishes on the national level.
Quick captured seven NCAA titles at Stanford and five at Texas, which is tied for the most in the history of Division I coaching. Internationally, Quick was the head coach of the United States team at the 1988, 1996, and 2000 Olympic Games and also served as an assistant at the 1984, `92, and 2004 Olympics.
Quick, 65, served as the head women's swimming and diving coach at Stanford for 17 seasons from 1988-2005. Prior to his arrival at Stanford, Quick led the Texas women to a then-unprecedented five straight NCAA titles (1984-88), a string he extended to six in a row in his first season at Stanford.
Quick also served as the men's head coach at Iowa State during the 1977-78 season and the women's head coach at Southern Methodist in 1976-77.
Quick earned a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education (1965) and a Master's degree in Physiology of Exercise (1977) from Southern Methodist.
He began his coaching career at Houston's Memorial High School (1965-71), guiding his team to six state championships before returning to SMU, where he served as an assistant coach on the men's side for four years (1971-75) before starting the SMU women's program in 1976.
In the interim under Quick's direction, Brett Hawke will oversee the men's team, while Dorsey Tierney-Walker will run the women's program.
A 17-time All-American swimmer at Auburn from 1997-99, Hawke has served as an assistant on the Plains since 2006. The Sydney, Australia, native and two-time Olympian served as a Brazilian National Team assistant coach during the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.
Tierney-Walker, who is in her fourth season as the co-head women's swimming coach, has helped lead the women's program to a pair of NCAA team titles in 2006 and 2007. A 16-time All-American swimmer at Texas, Tierney-Walker previously served as the head coach at Indiana for seven seasons.