The swimming world has lost one of its giants.
May 31, 2008
Coach Paul Blair of the Arkansas Dolphins and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has past away due to complications from prostate cancer. Coach is survived by his wife Mary Dawn, his three daughters, Shawna, Marissa, and Lindann. Coach Blair’s passion for swimming has built a foundation for the sport in Arkansas, where he started coaching the Arkansas Dolphins Swim Team in 1979. Blair can be noted as one of the first coaches to emphasize that in order to sprint, you must practice sprinting. Based in Little Rock, Arkansas, Blair led the Dolphins to a U.S. Open title in 1988 and then a National title in 1989 in less than ten years as head coach, thus proving that, "if you can win a national title from Little Rock, Arkansas you can win one from anywhere." In 2004, the International Swimming Hall of Fame honored Coach Blair with the Yutaka Terao Award. Coach Blair was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the fall of Despite the challenges associated with his illness, Coach never quit fighting. Though his illness weakened his body, his unwavering positive attitude and his relentless spirit remained untouched. During his last few weeks in the hospital, all he could talk about was getting back on the deck and coaching the kids he loved. Coach was truly an inspiration to us all.
While Coach will be sadly missed, he lived a wonderful and full life. During his 27 years with the Dolphins, Coach Blair helped thousands of swimmers on all skill levels. His most notable achievements are listed in the attachment.