Passages: Ronald “Stix” Ballatore, 71

GAINESVILLE, Florida, April 27. FORMER UCLA men's swimming coach Ron “Stix” Ballatore passed away earlier today from complications due to his battle with throat and bone cancer, various sources have confirmed with Swimming World. He was 71 years old.

Ballatore coached many Olympic gold medalists and world record holders including Brian Goodell, Bill Barrett, Robin Leamy, Bruce Hayes and Tom Jager during his coaching career.

One of Ballatore's pinnacle moments during his coaching career came in 1982 when he led the UCLA Bruins to the 1982 NCAA Division I Championships. Ballatore also served on five Olympic coaching staffs, and was inducted into the Pasadena City College Hall of Fame after beginning his coaching career there in 1967. His final coaching stop occurred in Gainesville at the University of Florida, where he resided until his death.

Upon hearing news of his throat cancer diagnois, many of Ballatore's former swimmers gathered in Gainesville last October for a reunion to share stories of their time with the legendary coach.

Ballatore's first coaching gig came at the Toledo Swim Club, where he worked from 1965 to 1967. Then, it was on to Pasadena City College until 1978. From there, he moved to UCLA, where he coached through the program's end in 1994.

Brown University came calling in 1994, and he stayed there until 1996, when he moved to Gainesville to coach at Florida until 1999.

Ballatore's daughter, Angelina, is a captain of the Florida Gators women's swimming team and has qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Survivors include wife Ann; daughters Lisa, Jenne and Angelina; and sons Ronald and Brent.

Click here to watch a video tribute to Ballatore from UCLA.

More details, including information on memorial services, will be posted here as it becomes available.