Two legends of swimming in the state of Texas are on the 2015 ballot for the Texas Sports Hall of Fame: Dana Vollmer and Richard Quick. They are among 20 nominees on the primary ballot for the Waco-based Hall of Fame. Generally, 6 from this primary ballot, along with 2 from the “veteran ballot,” will be inducted into each class.
Both Quick and Vollmer have deep roots in Texas.
Vollmer, a native of the Dallas suburb of Granbury, won three gold medals at the 2012 London Olympic Games, to go with one from 2004 (when she was still living and training in Texas). She’s the current World Record holder in the 100 fly, and also has 6 World Championships to her credit (a total of 16 medals). As a teenager, while swimming in finals of the 800 free relay at the 2004 Olympic Games, she was a part of a World Record setting relay with Carly Pipe, Natalie Coughlin, and Kaitlin Sandeno.
Growing up, she swam for the Fort Worth Area Swim Team, and at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials was the youngest entered swimmer at 12 years old. A year later, she would be the youngest swimmer at the 2001 Goodwill Games.
Vollmer swam only one year of high school in Texas, but in that one year she made a huge impact. Vollmer took home individual state titles in the 200 free (1:45.64) and the 100 fly (52.70). Those were both 5A State Records at the time, and the 100 fly mark is still strong. She also led off Granbury’s 9th-place 200 free relay in 22.93 – another 5A State Record.
Reaching back even further, she still holds an 8 & under state record in the 25 fly (15.73) and a 9-10 record in the same (13.51) as part of the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation meet.
Though Vollmer was born in Syracuse, and left for a college career in Florida and California, she spent the time in between living in Texas.
Quick was similarly not born in Texas, but as they say in the Lone Star state, he got there as fast as he could. The Akron, Ohio native divided his childhood between Austin, Dallas, and Wichita, Kansas, and spent much of his adult life in the state as well.
He was a three-time All-American at SMU, and after graduation, in 1965, took over as the head coach of the DAD’s Club in Houston with his wife Ann. This was the first big break of Quick’s coaching career, and he built the DAD’s Club into a national YMCA power: a status that they’d hold for the next 20-plus years. Quick contributed to the pre-Olympic training of Keena Rothhammer, the 1972 Olympic gold medalist in the 800 free, while at DAD’s.
Quick then went on to be named the head coach at SMU, before going on to a wildly successful career as the head coach at Iowa State, Auburn, Texas, Stanford, and back to Auburn. He was on the coaching staff for 6-straight U.S. Olympic Teams from 1984 through 2004, and has won 13 NCAA Division I swimming national championships as head coach, which is more than any coach in history.
The two are part of an incredibly deep list of nominees (which can be seen in full here). Among the most nationally recognizable names on the list include:
- Michael Strahan, Super Bowl Champion with the New York Giants, NFL single-season record holder for most sacks in a season
- Clint Dempsey, United States National Team captain in soccer
- Ty Detmer, 1990 Heisman Trophy winner (nation’s top college football player)
- Cecil Cooper, 5-time Major League Baseball All-Star
- Nastia Liukin, 2008 Olympic All-Around champion (gymnastics)
- Jeremy Wariner, Three-time Olympic gold medalist (track & field)