“A Good Coach Can Change a GAME, A Great Coach Can Change a LIFE”-John Wooden
Anyone who crossed paths with Coach Daniel Ave on the pool deck at a swim practice or meet immediately realized what an irreplaceable gift he was to the Dublin Community Swim Team.
Coach Dan was instantly recognizable with his scruffy goatee; often times sporting his signature tie dye shirt, wide-brimmed hat, and lucky purple socks. His signature quirky anecdotes like “spaghetti in the box, not spaghetti in the pot,” “superheroes, not pretty kitties,” and “it’s hammer time, green machine”, echoing from the pool deck in his booming voice, were always met with enthusiastic smiles and giggles from his swimmers and were completely understood by them as specific swimming instructions. Together, they all had their own secret swim language, and he always knew what to say to bring out the best in them.
“Story time with Coach Daniel” was legendary. Story time consisted of grandiose tales, often with inflated historical or literary references to get a swimming point across. His charismatic demeanor and dramatic inflection had his swimmers hanging on every word. Story time became a beloved activity that his age-group swimmers looked forward to at each and every practice.
Coach Dan had a “kewl” way of fostering a love and passion for the sport of swimming that will never be replicated. He ran “special elf practices” during the Holidays and “special mermaid practices” in the summer. His “Tale of the Northland Flying Monkeys” was a highly anticipated, right-of-passage story he told at the start of every long course season. Coach Dan made swimming fun.
He was generous with praise not only for his swimmers, but also for his wife and three children. He was an extremely proud husband and father and was always sharing stories of his family related not only to swimming, but life in general.
Coach Daniel Ave, you were larger than life. Your unique spirit, zest for life, and the passion and love that you showed for the sport of swimming has left footprints on our hearts. You not only made our kids better swimmers, but better people. For all that you have done and the legacy you leave behind, we are forever “swimcerely” grateful.