By Phillip Whitten
SANTA CLARA, May 24. The City Council of Santa Clara unanimously passed a resolution last night renaming the Santa Clara International Swim Center in honor of coaching giant George Haines.
The 7-0 vote was the culmination of several months of work by a team of dedicated former Santa Clara Swim Club swimmers' parents, led by Bill Kolb, father of Claudia Kolb, a double gold medalist at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. Tragically, one of the key movers in the group, Earl Carmichael, who was the Santa Clara Parks and Rec Commissioner when the 50-meter facility was first built, died last weekend, just days after the Parks and Recreation Commission recommended unanimously to the City Council that the pool be renamed in honor of Haines.
The idea to name the pool after Coach Haines, who last January was cited by Swimming World Magazine as the world's greatest swim coach of the 20th century, was first proposed to Swimming World by former Santa Clara Swim Club star, Gerry Macedo. The magazine ran an editorial in May 1999 endorsing the idea.
Dick Jochums, the current Santa Clara head coach, was elated with the City Council vote. "It's about time," said Jochums, "well deserved but a little late."
He added: "I chose this job so I could walk on the man's deck."
The dedication of the "George Haines International Swim Center at Santa Clara" will take place on June 24, during the 3-day Santa Clara International Invitational Swim Meet.
A more formal dedication, complete with a bust of Coach haines, will take place at the 2001 Santa Clara International Invitational, when an additional pool at the facility will be completed.