The History of OLY
Since its beginning in 1962, the Oakland Live Y’ers Swim Team has had a history marked by continuous achievement and growth. Consisting of all boys, the first Rochester swim team was coached by volunteer John Burns. Shortly thereafter, a girls team, the Aqua Debs, was established and coached by Gloria Lusk. Both of these teams were YMCA teams and combined into a single team in the 70’s. By 1976, the team had grown to 70 swimmers and sent 5 swimmers to Y Nationals.
Also, in the 70’s, a USS swim team was emerging in the area. Under the leadership of Oakland University’s Athletic Director Corey Van Fleet, a team of 30 young swimmers trained under OU coach Rich Pine. To maximize resources and coaching staff, the YMCA and USS teams merged in 1977. A contest was held to select a name for the new team, and swimmer Sherie Fedak submitted the winning entry—The Oakland Live Y’ers.
In 1980, OLY won its first Y State Championship, followed by it first Y Zone Championship in 1981. OLY won Long Course Y Nationals as well as its first USS Michigan State Championship in 1990. OLY has subsequently won many championships. In 2003, OLY received Silver Medal Designation from USA Swimming, which put us in the top 35 swim clubs in the United States. In 2004, Peter Vanderkaay became OLY’s first graduate to receive a Gold Medal at the Olympics.
OLY is made up of 200 swimmers and will continue to excel and grow. OLY also has the finest coaching staff in the state of Michigan with Head Coach Jeff Cooper and an impressive group of assistant coaches. And OLY is the best-run team in Michigan because of a dedicated group of parents who devote untold hours to the OLY program.