Renowned Indiana High School Coach David Dunlap Dies at the Age of 78

by Nicole Miller 1

July 13th, 2020 High School, News

Renowned Indiana high school swim coach David Dunlap died on July 11 at the age of 78.

During his coaching career, Dunlap coached the boys team at South Bend Jackson High School from 1967 until 1975, when it merged with Riley High School. He continued on as the head coach at Riley until his retirement in 1995.

His teams won state championships in 1978, 1986, and 1995; in addition, they finished in the runner-up position seven times: 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, and 1983.

His teams also earned a total of 22 sectional titles, and produced 23 individual and relay state champions. Under Dunlap, seventeen swimmers and five relays earned All-American status, while three swimmers earned honorable mentions.

For his accomplishments, he won the Indiana Coach of the Year award three times: 1971, 1978, and 1986, while also being named the runner-up for the National Coach of the Year in 1979. In 2001, Dunlap was named the recipient of the NISCA Outstanding Service Award, which earned his name in the Swimming Hall of Fame. 

In 2018, the pool at Riley High School was renamed the David Dunlap Natatorium in his honor.

“As far as longevity and history, no one can match the level of consistent success on all levels that Dave produced,” Riley’s current athletic director Seabe Gavin commented on Dunlap’s legacy said. “As a lifelong South Bend guy, I’ve seen some of the best come through here. None of them can match what he did over such a long time frame.”


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Tom Johnson

He was an amazing coach, an amazing teacher, and an amazing person! He will be missed.