Two Long-Time College Swim Coaches Pass Away, Including Pete Accardy

A pair of long-time collegiate swim coaches have passed away in the last week.

The first was Pete Accardy, former coach of the Cal State University – Northridge program. Accardy led CSUN’s women’s team to NCAA Championships in 1982, 1987, 1988, and 1989, and the men’s teams to a total of 9 in his career and for his efforts was named the NCAA Division II co-coach of the decade. In total, Accardy has 13 NCAA team titles – which is a record.

Among his top swimmers was Jeff Kubiak, who was the 1985 and 1986 Division II NCAA Swimmer of the Year and a member of the U.S. National Team.

For a period of two decades, Accardy was one of the really great coaches, and has after 24 years reigning over a dynasty, has left a really large legacy on the sport on the west coast.

According to a former Cal State Northridge swimmer, he passed away after a short battle with cancer in the afternoon on Saturday, July 13th.

Another passing was Grinnell College’s Ray Obermiller, who coached for 29 years at the Division III Iowa school. He coached with the program from 1966 until 1995, during which time his men won 16 Midwest Conference crowns.

Obermiller was a tireless worker at the school, serving as their first director of academic advising and testing for 25 years, and even after formal retirement continued to volunteer as an assistant with the program. He also taught in the school’s Physical Education department.


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Dr. Evil

This is really sad news.

Coach Pete Accardy was not only a great coach but a great person! All our prayers go out to his family, and all the great family of champion swimmers he coached.


I swam with Pete Accardy from 1976-1980. He was a great coach and a better human being. He will be missed.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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