Athens, GA - Coach Jack Bauerle of the University of Georgia has been chosen for induction into the Georgia Aquatic Hall of Fame.
The induction banquet will take place Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Atlanta Athletic Club. The banquet is open to the public and tickets cost $60 per person.
Bauerle is entering his 34th year coaching the Georgia women’s swimming team and his 30th coaching the Georgia men. He has a total of 471 dual-meet wins, standing first in the SEC and fourth nationally all-time. Bauerle has 277 wins with the Lady Bulldogs, ranking first in the country. He has piloted the Lady Bulldogs to four NCAA and nine SEC titles. Bauerle has been chosen as the NCAA Coach of the Year five times and the SEC Coach of the Year 15 times.
Bauerle served as the head coach for the United States women at the 2008 Olympics, leading Team USA to 14 medals – the most of any nation. Bauerle was a personal coach at the London Games, and his handiwork was on display as 13 American and international swimmers and one diver with ties to Georgia were competing. Senior Allison Schmitt earned five medals at the Games, including three golds, and junior Shannon Vreeland was a gold medalist. Bauerle also has served as the head coach at the World Championships three times.
Bauerle previously was inducted into the State of Georgia, the Montgomery (Pa.) Coaches and the American Swimming Coaches Association halls of fame. Earlier this year, he earned the Bill Hartman Award, which recognizes a former Georgia letterman for 20 or more years of superior performance in his profession.
“They all mean something, and this one is very special to me,” Bauerle said. “To be recognized in this state for what we’ve accomplished in Athens is humbling. It’s been a labor of love all these years. I’m inspired on a daily basis by our young men and women, and I’ve had so much help by our assistants through the years. I feel like we’re all being inducted into the hall of fame. What we’ve done, we’ve done together. I’m also proud to be mentioned in the same breath as the other inductees. Their accomplishments are tremendous, and I’m going in with some pretty special people.”
Joining Bauerle in the Class of 2012 are Herb McAuley, the former Georgia Tech coach and a multiple masters national champion; Doug Gjertson, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who coaches at Swim Atlanta; Jenny Chandler, an Olympic gold medalist in diving; and Mary Ellen Blanchard, who once held two American records, one U.S. Open mark and one national high school record.
The Georgia Aquatic Hall of Fame is an internet non-profit organization, and Georgia is the first state to establish its Aquatic Hall of Fame as a website. Incorporated in 2010, the Hall of Fame intends to preserve the history of aquatics in Georgia by celebrating the accomplishments of athletes, coaches and individuals who have excelled and/or made major contributions.
The Georgia Aquatic Hall of Fame also is looking for representatives to consult with the board of directors in any of the following sports: triathlons, water skiing, sailing, synchronized swimming, rowing, kayaking, canoeing and whitewater. Additional information may be found at georgiaaquatichalloffame.com.