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2018 Hall of Fame

 

Dennis White | Coach

On Denny White's first day of practice as the St. Xavier swimming coach, he asked the team to dream about winning the State title. As the season progressed, each day the swimmers were asked to believe in the dream and work to accomplish it. At the 1970 State meet, St. Xavier upset a powerful Upper Arlington team to win our first State title.

In 1973, St. X won its fourth consecutive State title and our first National title. Coach White's team featured three swimmers ranked in the top 25 in the world and six other swimmers who earned All American honors that year. To give you an idea about how powerful the '73 team was, you could have divided it into four separate teams, and those teams would have placed first, second, third and fourth at the State meet. Based on actual times, the 1973 team would have beaten all the college teams in Ohio, including the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State, which finished eighth at the NCAA championship that year.

The dream of winning the State Championship became a mission to defend it. Between 1970 and 1981, St. X won a record 12 consecutive State titles. Already during the 1990's, St. X has won seven State championships.

When you think of Ohio high school sports dynasties, you think of Massillon and Paul Brown, Moeller and Gerry Faust and Lakewood St. Edward. St. X has won more consecutive State titles than these other programs have won State titles. With a record 20 State titles, St. Xavier is clearly the greatest sports dynasty in the State of Ohio.

Denny White coached for six years. He won six GCL, six sectional, six district and six State titles. In addition to his 1973 National Championship team, three other of his teams were ranked in the top ten in the country. He was Ohio High School Coach of the Year five times and produced over 40 All Americans.

 

 

Richard Wells | Coach

Richard "Dick" Wells has been involved in swimming over half of his life. This Akron native who prepped at Akron East High and earned his degree from Florida State, organized and coached the Akron, Rubber City and Fairlawn Swim Clubs - all age group swim teams. From 1963 to '70 he served as head swim coach at Firestone High School - guiding his mermen to 153 wins and only 11 losses. His teams captured the state championship in 1966 and '69 and won the District Championships in 1966, '67, '69 and '70. He became Ohio's first Coach of the Year in '67.  Wells' Firestone pupils included 1976 Olympic champion Joe Bottom, 1976 Olympic diving champion Phillip Boggs and former Texas, Southern Cal and Olympic coach Mark Schubert . 

After coaching Antigua in the Pan American Games, Wells returned to Florida in 1972 and coached Martin County's still-young program for two years before taking the Indian River job in 1974.  The Pioneers' rise was meteoric, from a mere six swimmers in Year 1 to a men's junior college national championship in 1975, the first of a staggering 39 in a row.  Wells produced 51 All-Americans and five national titles ? three men, two women's ? in four seasons at Indian River and was a three-time national coach of the year. He was inducted into the school's Pioneer Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996.

By 1979, he was back at Martin County, where he built yet another winning program.  In 18 seasons with the Tigers, Wells' teams finished 305-83-2 with 13 district titles. Martin County's boys finished second in Class 4A in 1993, two points shy of a state title and still the highest finish by an area team, and third in Class 5A in 1994.

 

 

Jim Brower | Coach

Jim Brower became head swimming coach for the St. Xavier in the 1988-89 season. After finishing 3rd in the state meet his first year at the helm, Brower led St. Xavier to five straight State titles. Following his sixth season, he took a break from coaching to spend time with his family. Returning as head coach three years later, Brower picked up where he left off and led the Bombers to nine straight State titles from 1999 through 2007 and another seven straight from 2009 –15. He amassed 21 state titles in 23 years as head coach and stands first all-time for all sports in men's state championships in Ohio history.

Coach Brower has been named National High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year (2004), Ohio Coach of the Year (2011, 2010, 2009, 2005, 2001,1990), as well as GCL, Southwest District and Cincinnati Coach of the Year multiple times.

Brower's teams garnered recognition from Swimming World Magazine in 1992 and 2001 when they were named National Champions. Among dozens of swimmers who have gone on to be high school all-Americans and swim at the collegiate level, Brower has coached two National High School Swimmers of the Year in Olympic-gold-medalist Joe Hudepohl ('92) and NCAA Champion Jayme Cramer ('01).

Brower grew up in Canton, Ohio, where he swam for Glenoak High School and was the 100 breaststroke state champion in 1982. He went on to swim at the University of Cincinnati (under assistant coaches Tom & Debbie Keefe), where he earned his BA in Education as well as his MBA. He has coached at Montgomery Swim Club, Sycamore Flying Fish, and currently assists with the Cincinnati Marlins in the off-season.

Aside from his swimming duties, Brower is a 25+ year teacher in St. Xavier's math department, ranging from Algebra 2 to Calculus, and also served as an assistant coach for the golf team for five seasons. Jim is the father of Andrew ('12).