Georgia Honors Former Coach Jack Bauerle with Gala Celebration

Jack Bauerle, left, with Carol Capitani; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Georgia Honors Former Coach Jack Bauerle with Gala Celebration

Retired Georgia swimming coach Jack Bauerle was honored this weekend in Athens with a gala celebration recognizing his achievements. Among the honors is the official naming of the Jack Bauerle Pool inside Gabrielsen Natatorium on campus.

More than 300 former swimmers collected in Athens, among some 500 people in attendance at the event at the Payne Indoor Athletic Facility. Among them were 10-time Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt, who received the Young Alumni Award at the UGA Alumni Awards banquet held over the weekend.

“What a great weekend for Georgia Athletics,” athletic director Josh Brooks said in a university statement. “It all started with the Jack Bauerle Celebration, which was a tremendous way to honor one of the legendary figures in Georgia history. Then, like a lot of our fans, we were going back and forth between baseball and softball, while cheering on our tennis teams at the SEC Tournament and following track and field in Atlanta.

Bauerle retired from Georgia last June after 44 seasons at the helm of the men’s and women’s teams. He first arrived in Athens in 1970 and has made it his home since. He won 12 SEC titles and seven NCAA championships with the women’s team. He was replaced by two of his many proteges, Stefanie Williams Moreno for the women’s team and Neil Versfeld on the men’s. kid

Bauerle returned to Georgia to be honored at a football game in October, but the gala marked a more total accounting of his enormous legacy in college swimming. Among those in attendance were University of Texas coach Carol Capitani, along with Olympians Gunnar Bentz, Chase Kalisz, Jay Litherland, Nic Fink and Kristy Kowal. They represent but a small snapshot of the dozens of Olympians and NCAA champions that Bauerle has mentored.

When Bauerle spoke last summer, he expressed that he would miss being around the swimmers on a daily basis. That applied not just to the highest achieving among them – the medalists, the champions – but the swimmers who wanted to work and extracted the most out of their ability, in the water and in how they set themselves up for life beyond swimming. Those types of swimmers were as populous in the room as any.

“I’m going to miss the kids,” Bauerle said last year. “I don’t know what retirement looks like at all. I have no earthly idea. I’ll probably get used to it, but I’ll probably be doing something else.”

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Frank Comfort
1 year ago

A true champion! Well done Jack!

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