PHOENIX, July 8. ON June 29, during the Santa Clara International Invitational Swim Meet, a beautiful bronze bust of George Haines, sculpted by artist Jack Finney, was unveiled at the Santa Clara/George Haines International Swim Center in Santa Clara, Calif
The bust is located in a central location overlooking the pool.
Two years ago the pool was renamed to honor Coach Haines – named the "Coach of the Century" by Swimming World in 2000 — following a unanimous vote by the Santa Clara City Council.
The idea was originally suggested to Swimming World editor Phil Whitten by Gerry Macedo, who swam under Haines with Whitten in the 1960s. Macedo is the father of Cal star Matt Macedo.
Swimming World published an editorial endorsing the idea, which was then picked up by a group of former Santa Clara Swim Club parents, headed by the parents of 1964 Olympic champion, Claudia Kolb. The group lobbied the City Council and it was a slam dunk.
Just over a year ago, Coach Haines suffered a stroke from which he has not recovered, and he was unable to attend last November's planned party commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Santa Clara Swim Club.
To further honor Coach Haines, USA Swimming will be presenting the newly-created "George Haines Coach of the Championship" award at the summer USA Swimming National Championships each year. The first award will be presented this month at the Nationals in Fort Lauderdale, with the winner selected in a vote of all the coaches present on the last day of the meet.
Chuck Wielgus, Executive Director of USA Swimming, commented: "George was US Olympic coach seven times. The feeling was that having an award named after George that recognizes the outstanding coach of the Championship was the appropriate thing to do."
The award was created last May by a unanimous vote of the USA Swimming Board of Directors.