June 25, 2013
New Orleans - Former Tulane University swimming head coach Dick Bower passed away on Sunday, June 23, 2013, at the Memorial Herman Hospital in Houston, Texas, following complications from a recent stroke. Bower was 83.
A legendary swimming coach at every level he worked, Bower coached Tulane for eight seasons (1970-77) and produced an overall record of 85-36. He also served as an instructor in the department of physical education and served as manager of the Monk Simons Memorial Pool during his tenure at Tulane.
In Bower's final season, the Green Wave racked up five consecutive meet victories and a top finish at the Metro-7 Swimming Championships to conclude the 1976-77 campaign.
Before Tulane, Bower developed undefeated championship teams in each of his previous coaching positions in the 18 years prior to his appointment with the Green Wave.
In Jamestown, N.Y., from 1952-58, he organized swim teams at both a local YMCA and a high school and won three state YMCA team championships.
From 1960-66, he coached Bethel Park (Pa.) High School to a 92-8 combined record.
In 1966, Bower was associated with the Greater Pittsburgh Swim Club and his athletes compiled a perfect 64-0 record in the interim. The Club had not won a meet before Bower took over the coaching reins. The Pittsburgh Club remained unbeaten when Bower resigned to manage the Brandon Swim and Tennis Club in Brandon, Fla., in 1969. Swimmers came from all parts of the United States to receive instruction from Bower in Brandon.
Following his career at Tulane, Bower remained in New Orleans and founded the successful New Orleans USS Swim Club Team BOLTS and led the squad to 38 Louisiana state swimming championships.
He also coached St. Martin's High School and De La Salle's programs at one time. Bower won a National High School Coach of the Year honor and received multiple Coach of the Year awards in Louisiana.
Bower was honored with a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to Collegiate, Scholastic and United States Swimming at the 2009 National Intercollegiate Swim Coaches Association Awards Banquet.
According to SwimmingWorldMagazine.com, Bower's daughter, Alice, is organizing a memorial service for Bower in New Orleans. It is tentatively scheduled for the first weekend in September to coincide with the annual ASCA World Clinic. More information will come as it is made available.