Passages: Don Kimble, Former Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics Coach, Dies After Cancer Battle

Don Kimble with junior national medley relay winners Courtney Bartholomew, Melissa VanderMeulen, Taylor Garcia and Holly Morren. Photo Courtesy: Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics

Swimming coach Don Kimble has died, following a battle with cancer. He was 60.

Kimble died on Monday, May 25, in hospice care, his family confirmed. Kimble was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma last year. He had a spot removed on his chest in August, before having four lymph nodes removed. In March, doctors found a tumor in his brain.

Kimble spent decades cheering others on as a coach on the pool decks of Michigan for decades, coaching USA clubs Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics and the Byron Center Dawgs, coaching the likes of former American record-holder and junior national champion Courtney Bartholomew as well as Taylor Garcia, Emily Bos, Eric Solis and Adam DeJong.

He most recently coached at Davenport University. His children followed his footsteps into coaching.

Don Kimble, also earned six high school state championships at Holland High School and Holland Christian High School in West Michigan — and was also elected to the Michigan High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014.

Kimble coached the Holland Christian boys swim team from 1980-89, leading the Maroons to three conference titles and two state titles. He coached the Holland Christian girls from 1983-87 and won four conference titles. He then moved to Holland High School in 2002 leading the boys and girls programs to a pair of state championships, including the first in girls school history. That first girls state title team also was the most dominant swim team in state history, becoming the only team in Michigan to ever finish first or second in every swimming event at the state meet.

Don Kimble also led his teams to five state runner-up finishes and 20 conference championships in 21 years. Over the years he coached 31 individual state champions.


  1. avatar
    Thomas Jarvis

    Then why did Director Jack Huisingh kick Don out of the Holland Aquatic Center last August when he tried to congratulate swimmers?