Former Ohio St Head Coach Bill Wadley Has “Aggressive Pancreatic Cancer”

Former Ohio State head swimming & diving coach and ASCA CEO Bill Wadley has been diagnosed with an “aggressive form of pancreatic cancer,” the CSCAA revealed in its email newsletter on Monday.

Wadley retired from Ohio State after the 2016-2017 season, ending a 28-year run leading the program. In those 28 years, Wadley coached 16 Olympians, 30 Big Ten Champions, and was named the 2010 Big Ten Coach of the Year. He never had a losing record in dual meets, with an overall 253-42 record.

When Waldey left Ohio State, he didn’t leave coaching – less than a year after announcing his retirement from the Buckeyes, he was announced as the Director of the Youth Swim Program for the Des Moines YMCA in Iowa.

In 2020, he was announced as the new CEO of the American Swimming Coaches’ Association (ASCA). That position was short-lived though: he began officially on October 15, 2020 and resigned on January 13, 2021 after a vote of ‘no confidence’ by the organization’s board of directors.

That vote came after it came to light that an unarmed Black man was shot and killed by police at a home that Wadley owned. That incident brought to a history of several police reports filed from calls made by a woman, not Wadley’s wife, who lived at the house alleging domestic abuse.

The newsletter from the CCSCA, a trade group that represents college swim coaches, says that “he could use the support of his coaching peers,” and includes a phone number to contact him at.


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Steve Betts
10 months ago

I met Bill when he was coaching the Joliet YMCA Jets, and he was terrific then and continued to improve. No doubt his former swimmers will echo this – I hope you all send him your best wishes. He will appreciate it.

Wave Uno Swimmer
10 months ago

As a child at an OSU swim camp, he once told me I had the worst start he had ever seen to the point where he couldn’t believe I was trying. Then proceeded to help and fix it. Best wishes to Bill, hoping for the best.

Buckeye 4 Life
10 months ago

I feel like Wadley deserves a better article than this. He is a champion of the sport and has done leaps and bounds for Ohio Swimming. He is a leader and a class act. Bill our thoughts and prayers go out to you. Thank you for taking the time to care about your athletes and leave such a positive impact on the sport we all love.

Reply to  Buckeye 4 Life
10 months ago

I think what you mean is “it’s hard to remember that my friends and heroes aren’t perfect, and that they may have hurt someone, so I want to ignore those parts of them.”

10 months ago

Pancreatic cancer is such a beast because it often doesn’t rear it’s ugly head until it’s late in the disease process . That being said, a Whipple is a cool name for a very intense surgery that I hope he is a candidate for.

Reply to  harambe
10 months ago

Same, but “aggressive” suggests it has spread past the point where they can Whipple. One of the worst things about pancan is even when you manage to buy time it is often not very enjoyable time.

10 months ago

Sorry to hear about Bill and extremely saddened to hear about Steve Nye. We roomed together on a trip in 1990 and were friends ever since. Always welcoming, energetic and innovative. RIP my friend. Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!

Bill – all the best in you battle and recovery!!!


Reply to  Greg
4 months ago

Jeff P
10 months ago

Sad to hear this. Prayers to Bill Wadley and his family

Stan Crump
10 months ago

Wow! Bad news! Good luck Bill. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

10 months ago

Pancreatic cancer is an awful, awful disease. And it kills very quickly a lot of the time. All past-issues he may have had aside, this is sad news for his family. Hope his doctors can get and keep him comfortable. Cancer sucks.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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