Brian Howard 

About Brian Howard 

Brian began swimming for the Kansas City Blazers in the second grade and was a loyal and true Blazer throughout his life; he could almost always be found proudly wearing his Blazer team gear!  He was a young man of vision and uncompromising values, relishing in every opportunity offered to best his potential with each passing moment and, in doing so, inspiring all who knew him. Brian led by a quiet but profound example and was authentically one of a kind.  As a teammate and leader, he had the unique ability to positively shift the group's collective mindset, while remaining true to his core beliefs and sense of self.  As a friend and teacher, he knew how to reach those who needed perspective, often allowing them to see and pursue their potential through his support, influence, and approach to life.    

His commitment, dedication, work ethic, competitive spirit, capacity for joy in the midst of hard work, and above all, his character, embodies and further inspires the Blazers motto of ‘Commitment to Excellence’. The impact he had on his former teammates & friends, coaches & community is a legacy that is ever withstanding and is a testament to the person he was during his short life and is to this day, in memory.


The Brian Howard Memorial Invitational 


Each year the Blazers start the New Year by hosting the Brian Howard Invitational Swim Meet in January.  We look forward to great competition and team spirit as we celebrate our sport and the memory of one of our former Kansas City Blazers swimmers, Brian Howard.  One of our Olympic alumni, Catherine Fox, speaks best to the meaning and timing of this meet:

The “Brian Howard Invitational” gives great meaning, as well as understanding, to a challenging meet during this time of the year.  It does not come with the limelight of the highest performance meet of the season.  But what it does demonstrate is the guts and the determination during the hardest time of the year in training.  Amazing grace and expression of joy came with every race he swam. His encouragement had no end.  His success was not only exemplified in his determination to his finish but his conviction with how to begin.  To swim with Brian’s spirit is to swim with the excitement and perseverance of the most important race of your life- every time you dive into the pool.

Please take a moment to read more about Brian and what he meant to the Blazers and swimming in a welcome letter from one of our Olympic alumni, Catherine Fox.


Brian Howard Team Spirit Award

To honor Brian and the spirit of this competition, we will be awarding a team spirit trophy to the team that exemplifies the spirit of Brian Howard.  A team that competes with character, pride, and excitement about racing; a team that demonstrates support for each other and the sport, good sportsmanship towards fellow competitors, and team spirit through encouragement and wearing team colors; a team that competes together, as one. 

In the worst of times, be at your best- Full of patience, compassion, and selflessness.  Always pursue your dreams. 

Brian Howard, 2002


Interested in attending the meet? Please visit our Brian Howard Invite Meet page for more information!


The Brian Howard Inspirational Swimmer Scholarship

Brian’s parents, Martha and John Howard started The Brian Howard Inspirational Swimmer Scholarship as a way to keep his memory alive. The scholarship is awarded annually to a college-bound member of the Kansas City Blazers, who best exemplifies the Blazers' nine traditional principles.


Excellence     Commitment     Discipline

Dedication      Leadership       Education

Passion          Loyalty              Eternal


Brian Howard Inspirational Swimmer Scholarship Application Criteria

In addition to swimming in college, the applicant must be committed to year-round swimming. Swimmers are not eligible if they are recipients of other scholarships that singularly or combined provide for all or a significant majority of their necessary college expenses. This scholarship is renewable for up to four consecutive years, depending on meeting specific criteria. 


Brian Howard Scholarship Application


Brian Howard Inspirational Swimmer Scholarship Recipients


Izzy Gifford – 2022

Reece Manning - 2021

Richie Stewart - 2019

Mackenzie Bravence - 2018

Taylor Acheson - 2017

Max Stoneking - 2016

Allie Hecht - 2015

Courtney Laird - 2014

Ryan Sweat - 2014

Katya Vakshteyn - 2013