Passages: Brent Rutemiller, Former Swimming World Publisher, ISHOF CEO Dies After Multiple Cancer Battles

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Former Swimming World Magazine Publisher and International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) CEO Brent Rutemiller has died after multiple bouts with cancer.

He died early June 17, 2024, surrounded by his family. His daughter Shoshanna posted in the Rutemiller’s Army Facebook page this morning.

“Hi all, Brent passed away peacefully last night with his loving wife by his side. He contracted a lung infection over the weekend and deteriorated quickly. We are so thankful he was not in pain and was able to visit with his children and grandchildren before passing. He was lucid and himself to the very end. He will be missed greatly.”

Rutemiller, the recipient of the ISHOF Lifetime Achievement Award, had battled several forms of cancer into remission.

It started with a 2021 diagnoses of a rare bone marrow cancer called plasma cell leukemia. He battled that into remission, but cancer returned in 2022 and he underwent a bone marrow transplant and stem cell boosts.

He served Swimming World Magazine in multiple roles for more than 30 years and has won several major awards over the years after a lifetime in and around the water.

Rutemiller swam at Eastern Kentucky University but his involvement in the sport really hit a new level as a coach. He was a Level 5 certified coach by the American Swimming Coaches Association and coached teams in Indiana and Kentucky. He then was a coached with the Mission Viejo Nadadores, the Phoenix Swim Club and Scottsdale Aquatic Club, leading several swimmers to state championships and All-American honors.

Rutemiller also made huge contributions to the Special Olympics and coached several athletes at the games over the years.

He created Aquazoids, an animated educational series that has been printed in more than 150 countries, including Swimming World, where he first joined the team.

Brent Rutemiller joined Swimming World full time in 1985 as head of advertising and continued to grow in leadership until he was the magazine’s publisher.

Since taking the helm at Swimming World, he grew the product to a daily online source of news in addition to the monthly print magazine. He started The Morning Swim Show, an online TV series in a podcast format well ahead of its time.

USA Swimming once recognized Rutemiller as one of the 30 most-influential figures in the sport and the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association presented Brent Rutemiller with its Collegiate Award in 2023.

Even throughout his battles with cancer, he was in the water. He swam for himself, and for others, helping raise money for cancer research with Swim Across America, along with his supporters, dubbed “Rutemiller’s Army.”

“I want to thank everyone for all of their support over the years. Leading the International Swimming Hall of Fame and Swimming World was a privilege as well as a responsibility that I took very,” Brent Rutemiller wrote when he retired. “I believe that to truly win in life, you must first help someone else win. That is what philanthropy and running a non-profit corporation is all about. I think my inner drive to be ethical and credible has rung true through the years.”

Indeed it has, and it has guided Swimming World, the ISHOF and the entire sport of swimming into its rise that continues to ascend.

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Jack Hallahan
Jack Hallahan
1 hour ago

Miss him already…me and the entire global swimming community.

He will continue to be a big inspiration as we reshape and evolve Swimming World from his early vision and constant innovation.

RIP Brent ❤️

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