Haines coached three U.S. Olympic swim teams

Updated: May 2, 2006, 5:22 PM ET
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- George F. Haines, who coached three U.S. Olympic swim teams and guided such 1960s and '70s stars as Mark Spitz, Don Schollander and Donna de Varona, died at 82.

George F. Haines
AP Photo/FileThe 53 Olympic swimmers produced by Haines from 1960 to 1988 won 44 Olympic gold medals, 14 silver and 10 bronze.

Haines died in his sleep Monday at a nursing home in nearby Carmichael, where he had stayed since suffering a severe stroke a few years ago, according to the Santa Clara Swim Club's Web site.

He founded the club in 1950 that became home to many of the 53 Olympic swimmers produced by Haines from 1960 to 1988. They won 44 Olympic gold medals, 14 silver and 10 bronze.

It was considered one of the nation's first large "super clubs," with Haines taking as many as 40 swimmers to national meets.

Spitz won a record seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympics; Schollander became the first person to win four swimming golds at a single Olympics at the 1964 Toyko Games; and de Varona won two golds in Tokyo.

The nine-lane pool at the Santa Clara complex is named after him.

Haines served on the support staff of four other Olympic teams and is a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He also coached football during a 24-year tenure at Santa Clara High, and later coached swimming at UCLA and Stanford.

Haines became interested in swimming when he joined a local YMCA in his hometown of Huntington, Ind.

The Santa Clara Swim Club plans to honor Haines at a 55th anniversary celebration in June.

He is survived by his wife, June, four daughters and a son.

No services were planned.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press