Below is a press release, submitted to SwimSwam.
Robert White Sr., a deeply respected and highly accoladed coach of 40 years and former Indiana University swimming star, passed away on Sunday at the age of 91.
White’s lifelong commitment and service to the sport garnered a NISCA Hall of Fame Award in 1999, forever memorialized at the International Swimming Hall of Fame along with coaches including Richard W. Shoulberg and George Haines. In 2006, White was awarded The National Collegiate And Scholastic Swimming Trophy, also on permanent display at ISHOF, along with recipients including Richard Quick, Teri Mckeever, David Marsh, Jon Urbancheck, Frank Busch, Don Gambril, and Gregg Troy.
As Head Coach of Wauwatosa High Schools’ Swim Teams, White amassed a 321-75 dual meet record coaching 57 All-American Swimmers and two National Record breaking athletes, Bill Weiss and Jeff Marohl. Wauwatosa West also holds the annual “Bob White Invitational” swim meet in Coach White’s honor.
Additional achievements by and roles of Coach White include the NISCA 25-year Award, NISCA National Records and Archives Chair of 15 years, implementing the National Record Plaque Award Program for NISCA, adding NISCA National Meter Records and the Best Overall Record Programs. White worked with ISHOF in creating the NISCA Archives Section, was the NISCA Zone 5 Director of five years, received the 1982 NISCA Outstanding Service Award and 1990 NISCA Completion of Service Award, was the Wisconsin State Delegate of 10 years, and Arkansas State Delegate of 8 years. He was a founder and charter member of the Wisconsin Swimming Coaches’ Association, as well as a past President and and Vice-President. Coach White was the founder of the Wauwatosa Swim Club and Head Coach for 27 years. White organized and held the first ever Wisconsin Swimming Clinic. Coach White was inducted into the Wisconsin Swimming Coaches’ Hall of Fame in 1995, the Roseland Pullman Sports’ Hall of Fame in 1986, Wauwatosa West and East Hall of Fames in 2015, has been named Wisconsin Coach of the Year, is a recipient of the Wisconsin High School 25 Year Award, and Wisconsin Outstanding Service Award. He served on the Wisconsin State High School Rules’ Committee, the State and National AAU Rules Committee for four years, was the United States Swimming Men’s Chair for Wisconsin for four years, and is the Founder of the Wisconsin Suburban Swimming Association Service and Dedication Award. White Co-Chaired the Milwaukee Area Special Olympics for five years, and was the Recreation, Pool, and Swim Program Director for the City of Wauwatosa. Coach White additionally officiated at major meets such as Olympic Trials, and the NCAA, Big Ten, and NAAU Championships. Over 30 of White’s former swimmers and divers have since become head coaches.
In addition to White’s years of coaching and service, Bob Sr. was a standout swimmer for Indiana University in the 1940’s. White was a two-time team captain and NCAA runner-up in the 150 Backstroke in 1945, additionally competing in the 1948 Olympic Trials. He won two National AAU Championship titles and several state, national and world Masters’ titles as a life-long swimmer.
White’s swimming and sports’ legacy is extended throughout his loving family as he is survived by his children, U.S. National Team and life-long Head Swim Coach Robert Jr. (Ann), High School Swimming All-American and State Champion Timothy (Karen), and former competitive and synchronized swimmer Susan (James Donnells); grandchildren Emily who was a DI scholarship swimmer that currently manages Anthony Ervin, Kaitlin Sandeno, and David Marsh, WIAA State Team Champion Jesse, Jimmy, Ashley, Molly, Sloane, Caitlin, WIAA State Team Champion Colter; and 11 great-grandchildren. As Robert White Sr.’s mother was also a swimmer, his grandchildren Emily and Jesse are therefore 4th generation swimmers. Emily profiled her grandfather’s influence on her life in the sport for SwimSwam in 2015.
Coach White’s family, swimmers, and community will be honoring his life and impact on Saturday August 11th, with a service at Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral Home in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin and a visitation to follow. Afterwards, all will be gathering at Jimmy’s Island Grill to share stories, celebrating his life and legacy.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to ISHOF or Special Olympics Wisconsin.