Dick Fagen Senior Coach of the Year
This award is presented to the outstanding SES senior coach of the year.
The Dick Fadgen Coach of the Year Award is presented annually in honor of one of the pioneers of competitive swimming in the southeastern United States. A native of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, Dick became a swimming legend at North Carolina State University in the 1950s, capturing seven NCAA and U.S. National championship titles in the butterfly and underwater breaststroke events, while earning spots on several national teams.
Dick began his coaching career upon receiving his Master’s degree at Appalachian State in Boone, North Carolina. After a brief stint at the High Point North Carolina Swim Club, Dick landed in Memphis in 1963, where he immediately established the Memphis Athletic Club as the state’s dominant swimming power. Dick became a strong advocate of swimming sponsored by the Southeastern Amateur Athletic Union (SEAAU), the fledgling organizational entity that ultimately evolved into Southeastern Swimming, Inc. (SES), our current local swim committee.
Forever forsaking his Yankee heritage, in 1970 Dick founded the Memphis State University Swim Club, a tradition-rich program that exists to this day, though under the less cumbersome name of Memphis Tiger Swimming. In his quarter of a century manning the helm at Memphis State Dick produced scores of national qualifiers and Region III, Zone and Southeastern champions. While his two Olympic medalists and many national team members may be the most noticeable of his coaching accomplishments, Dick takes great pride in every one of his swimmers over the years who has put in the time and effort to participate in the greatest of America’s amateur sports.
In addition to his own successes, Dick has always been a consistent friend, supporter and mentor to swimming coaches throughout the southeast. Dick has been a loyal supporter of Southeastern Swimming since its inception, and it is altogether fitting that the Coach of the Year Award be made in his honor.