Passages: Maureen “Mo” Rankin Loses Battle To Cancer

maureen rankin

It is with deep sadness that Swimming World has learned of the passing of Maureen “Mo” Rankin. In December of 2016 doctors discovered a tumor in her bladder. She underwent surgery and began chemotherapy in early 2017 to combat the cancer. However, this morning on September 25th Maureen lost her valiant battle with cancer.

Maureen was born in New York and raised in Lake Oswego, Ore., where she swam for the Mulnomah Athletic Club and St. Mary’s Academy. From the age of 11 on she was a USA Swimming National Age Group top 16 swimmer and a multiple Oregon State High School Swimming champion and state record holder. In 1988, she was named Oregon Swimming Female Swimmer of the Year by coaches.

Following her graduation from St. Mary’s Academy, Maureen received a full athletic scholarship to swim for the University of Arizona Wildcats under the guidance of esteemed coach Frank Busch. She became a nine-time All-American, was a member of the USA Swimming Junior National team, and was a finalist at the USA Swimming Senior Nationals, NCAA Division I Championships, and the USA Swimming Olympic Trials.

After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in English literature, swimming and modeling remained a constant in Maureen’s life. She was a swim coach for 20 years– working with age group, high school, and masters swimmers over the course of her career. Keeping fit over the years as a swimmer, Rankin was often asked to model for fitness and clothing companies.  She also served as Age Group Chair of Arizona Swimming from 2013 through 2016.

Maureen was a member of the Swimming World staff from 2014 – 2016. She served as the Circulation and Marketing Manager in the Phoenix office. Mo has left an indelible mark on all who had the immense privilege of knowing her.

She is survived by her husband, Mark Rankin, and two children: Mia (14) and Luke (11).

Funeral services for Maureen will be Saturday, Sept. 30, at at St. Francis Xavier Church (4715 N. Central Ave, Phoenix, Ariz. 85012) at 3 p.m. A reception will be held afterwards in the adjacent St. Francis Xavier Anderson Hall.

A memorial fund has been created to honor her memory and to help support her family to assist with future education and health care needs for her children. Individuals can donate to the memorial fund by clicking here.

Swimming World sends their condolences to the Rankin family in this difficult time.  


  1. Amy Lynn

    I am so sorry to read this. Sending prayers out to her children and family. I remember Maureen’s swimming talent.

  2. Liz Wells

    So very sad to hear

  3. Christine Prescott

    Very sad…my condolences to her family and friends.

  4. Alexis Murray

    So much love to her entire family from me (formerly Alexis Brenner) and my parents. Such a tremendous competitor and someone I always enjoyed seeing at meets. Glad I had the chance to reconnect with Mo thru masters swimming a while back…. ❤️❤️❤️

  5. Janet Mitchell

    So sorry to see this. She was a wonderful person.

  6. Sara Schramm

    I cannot put into words how heartbreaking this news is. Rest In Peace, and pain free, sweet friend. You are missed, already.

  7. Julie Gabriel

    So sad. Swim on Mo. Prayers for Mo and her family. ???

  8. Mark Schwartz

    Good lord, that is terrible news.

  9. Peter Samakia

    Deep Sadness Indeed for the Lost of Great American Swimming ? Champion Maureen. Her Soul Rest in peace in heaven near God.

  10. Becky Pow Blomquist

    Heartbreaking news. RIP Coach Mo. You were one of the best. Prayers to Mark, Mia, Luke & the rest of her family.

  11. avatar
    Jeana Kempe

    So sad to hear this news. Loved sharing a pool deck with her during my time in Arizona. My condolences to the Rankin family!

  12. Julie Dow

    She was truly special, and very genuine. A tremendous loss to all who had the honor of knowing her.

  13. avatar
    Virginia Silvey ( Drawz)

    Thoughts of healing and love to her family

  14. Judith Strauch Diess

    Darn. Swimmers deserve to live forever. Condolences to her family and the world of swimming. She will be missed.

  15. Tony Pineiro

    So sorry to hear , RIP , Sending prayers out to her family, forever MAUREEN

  16. avatar
    Brian Shepherd

    Our deepest condolences to the family.

  17. avatar

    Thoughts and prayers for Mark, the kids, and the entire community. What a beautiful legacy of love, laughter, and compassion.

  18. Jennifer Clark

    Prayers for the entire family. Heartbreaking ❤

  19. avatar
    Marc Rizzo

    Very sad news. Condolences to your family, Maureen. Rest In Peace.

  20. Thomas A. Small

    Really sorry God Bless her way to young

  21. avatar
    wendy ramos

    She was an amazing woman indeed. It was my honor to know her. Prayers for her faimly.

  22. avatar


    Mary and my hearts, thoughts and prayers are with you and your children. We are so saddened by this loss. Maureen was so amazing in so many ways. We will all miss her.
    Please let us know how we can help you get through this difficult time.

    Gary Sr.

  23. avatar
    Janine Simioni

    So sorry to hear this news. Mo was an awesome swimmer and a great help to the office at Az. Swimming. She will be missed. We will keep your family in our prayers.

  24. avatar
    Aimee schmitt

    Absolutely heartbreaking?

  25. avatar
    Houghton Mayfield

    She was one of my first coaches at age 6, and 12 years later her nifluence on me is just as great, she is a second mother to me. I will never forget the times I spent with her. She will be remembered.

  26. avatar
    Gary Hollywood

    Very Sad. RIP

  27. avatar
    Henry Palmer

    Coach Mo,
    You were my favorite coach and the reason why I am still swimming today. You knew had to make swimming fun. Even when we were working our tails off to the point of exhaustion, you knew a little four square or frisbee would keep us motivated. Thank you for all you’ve done for me as a swimmer and the sport in general. Rest in peace Mighty Mo,
    Much Love,
    Henry Palmer

  28. avatar

    So very sad to have lost such an amazing person. Lucky to have spent time with her in the pool and on the deck as teammates. Such a great person. my heart is with you and your family.
    -Evan Roberts

  29. avatar
    Elizabeth Damore Minchew

    Mark and family, so very sorry to hear of your loss and my heart is with you all.

  30. avatar
    Seth Pepper

    One of my favorite people in the world. Mo was a senior when I was a freshman. Probably one of the kindest warm people in a very competitive world.

    As her childhood friend and club/college teammate Brad Bachulis told me today: “Her husband Mark and two crazy great kids Mia and Luke need all the positive and caring thoughts we can muster.”

  31. avatar
    Kathy Halos

    I am so sorry to hear this:(
    I am praying for her family at this difficult time:(

  32. Zoe Webber

    In the arms of Angels, Blessèd Be. ?

  33. avatar
    David Brooks

    So sorry to hear about Maureen’s passing. Cancer is a nemesis for many and it takes far too many as well. Our granddaughter has been fighting her own battle, so we empathize and sympathize with your loss. Maureen will be missed by the Phoenix Swim Club and Arizona Swimming communities. My condolences to Mark and the children.

  34. avatar

    Prayers and hope to Mark and the children. Prayers to Maureen’s mom. May Maureen rest in peace and watch from above. I know she touched many hearts and many will miss her. Her legacy will live on in her children and all she coached. So sad so young…
    Mark and family, we will keep you in our prayers.
    Sara (Quan) Nelson and family

  35. avatar
    Rob Clark

    Our condolences go out to the Rankin family, we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.
    The Rob Clark family

  36. avatar
    Cindy Mooney YWSF

    Mark, I am so sorry for the loss of Maureen. I have enjoyed being on deck with her at many swim meets and also while she was at he Arizona Swimming office. My prayers go out to you and your entire family

  37. avatar

    A BEAUTIFUL Lady, in and out; the most LOVING Mother & Wife; TALENTED Athlete; AMAZING Coach! Her impeccable legacy of working with families and children speaks above all else.
    We were honored with the opportunity to share the deck withe both Mo and Mark while at Phoenix Swim Club. Memories we will cherish forever. Love and prayers go out to Mark, Mia & Luke.

    -Dave, Jennifer & Harrison Gibson

  38. Nate Derby

    My heart goes out to Mark, her children, and all her family and friends. Such an wonderful person to have known, swam with, and will always remember fondly.

  39. avatar

    So very saddened. Such a wonderful person and coach to our

  40. avatar

    kids . Our heart and prayers are with Mark, Mia and Luke.

  41. avatar
    John Fellows

    My deepest condolences to you, Mark, and your family. Your wife has been an inspiration to many. #BoiseYfamily

  42. avatar
    Anne Burnett

    Praying for all of you.

  43. avatar

    WOW i never heard of this woman..but reading this article and the comments..makes me a little sad I never knew this woman…sorry for the family loss as well as the swimming world…

  44. Koyel Narayan

    Sad day 4 swim world! Rip. Champ Mo maam ! Condolences 2 d family!

  45. avatar
    Veronica Zurita

    My mother worked at phoenix swim club for many years and i was able to part of the community and have coach mo my heart is broken to hear the news my condolences go out to coach Mark and his kids i remember growing up with them and spending so much time by coach mo you will be missed so much.

  46. avatar
    Stacey Morris

    So very sad, condolences to her lovely family. X

  47. avatar

    Great loss for swimming fraternity

  48. avatar
    Berenice Tapia

    Mo a beautiful soul. You were a mentor, a friend, and an inspiration. You lived your life with courage, compassion and integrity, leading with your heart and making a difference on others every day. We are so grateful to count ourselves amongst them. We love you our Dear Mo ~ you will always be in our hearts, until we meet again! ?? ? Prayers, love and peace to YOU, Mark, Mia and Luke…

  49. avatar
    Brett Goshert

    Coach MO was my daughter’s coach for several years when she was little. My daughter didn’t love swimming at first but she did like and respect Coach Mo and that kept her going. She went on to swim into her high school years and I give Coach Mo most of the credit for that. She and I and the rest of our family are deeply saddened at this news. We will miss her and give our condolences to Mark, Mia and Luke. A ghastly hole in their lives.

  50. Helen Oleary

    Rip Maureen u will be missed by the swimmer Helen

  51. avatar
    Sid Cassidy


  52. avatar
    Shair (Gooing) Springer

    Truly is sad news. Maureen as a power house in the pool. Many of us who competed with her in the pool looked up to her and her talent. An incredible loss to those in the swimming world.

    My heart goes out to Mark and the kids.

  53. avatar
    Jennifer Blake

    So incredibly sad. Coach Mo was a wonderful person and coach and will be dearly missed. She and her family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  54. avatar
    Michele Laurin-Beguiristain

    We are shocked by this news. Mo and Mark were such a big part of our PSC / BEST lives. Sincere sympathy to the Rankin family.
    The Beguiristain’s
    Michele and Roger, Evelyn and Eric