Megerle Awarded National Collegiate and Scholastic Trophy

Donald R. Megerle, the legendary coach of the Tufts University swimming team for 33 seasons from 1971-2004, and a dedicated leader of the national collegiate swimming community during his tenure, will receive the College Swimming Coaches Association of America's (CSCAA) highest honor when he is presented the National Collegiate and Scholastic Swimming Trophy next week at the organization's national convention. Other nominees included several head coaches head coaches. They included Frank Busch (Arizona), Frank Comfort (North Carolina), Dennis Dale (Minnesota), George Kennedy (Johns Hopkins), David Marsh and Dorsey Tierney (Auburn), Ray Padovan (Eastern Illinois), Nick Nichols (Amherst) and eight others.

The highest award of its kind in the United States, the National Collegiate and Scholastic Swimming Trophy is presented to an individual or organization for having contributed in an outstanding way to swimming as a competitive sport and healthful recreational activity at schools and colleges. Megerle will receive the award on Tuesday night, May 22, at the CSCAA SPEEDO America Awards Dinner at the Key Largo Grande Resort and Beach Club in Florida. He will join a list of recipients that includes not only those coaches who were the most successful in the history of the sport, but who were also energetic contributors to the sport beyond their teams. The award, which was first presented in 1958, is voted upon by the coaches.

At Tufts, Megerle was a seven-time New England or New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Coach of the Year for the Jumbos. His teams compiled a dual meet record of 268-81, and 92 of his swimmers posted All-American performances at NCAA championship meets. He coached numerous NCAA and New England champions and had 16 Academic All-Americans. Beyond the success of his teams and individuals, Coach Megerle established a unity among the Jumbo program that was even more significant than the competitive achievements. Those who came to Tufts to swim for Coach entered into a lifetime relationship with their mentor. He would be there for them to celebrate their marriages or mourn their losses. In honor of his coaching techniques and team-building skills, Megerle was named the first Master Coach in the long history of Tufts Athletics on Homecoming Weekend 1997.

"Nobody deserves this award more than Don does," said Varney Hintlian, a captain of Megerle s first Tufts team in 1971-72, and currently the Chair of the University s Board of Athletic Overseers. "It is an affirmation not only of his highly successful 33-year coaching career, but more importantly for the countless young people's lives that he has touched and made better through his caring, wisdom and knowledge. In honoring Don with this award, his peers in the coaching world have recognized what many of us have known for years - there really is a "Megerle Magic" and it works!"

Read about Coach Megerle's Current Coaching Efforts

His record of service to NCAA Swimming is remarkable. He was the meet coordinator for 32 Men s Division I Championships, 28 Men s Division III Championships and 22 Women s Division III Championships. He held long tenures as the secretary-treasurer of the CSCAA (1982-98) and of the New England Swimming Coaches Association (1972-99). He was also a member of the NCAA Rules Committee from 1982-87.

"He is one of the good people on Planet Earth in my opinion," said Tim Welsh, the head coach at Notre Dame, one of the many who voted for Megerle to receive this year's award. "Don's tireless and energetic work as a meet manager for the NCAA Championships, his thoroughness, excitement, and downright class in running the meets set the gold standard for all future meet managers to emulate. He did it with his characteristic laughter, fun, and good humor. Being around Don at those meets was just plain fun."

The National Collegiate and Scholastic Swimming Trophy is the most significant of many national awards that Megerle has received. The International Swimming Hall of Fame has twice recognized him for outstanding contributions with the Paragon Award in 1999 and the Dick Steadman Award in 1991. The CSCAA presented him with the Master Coach Award in 1987 and with the Distinguished Coach Award in 1991. He has received Distinguished Service/Achievement awards from two universities, Tufts in 1996 and from Bethany College, his alma mater, in 2004.

Since stepping down as swimming coach in 2004, Megerle still mentors athletes at Tufts as Director of the President s Marathon Challenge. He is the coordinator and administrator for over 200 runners who participate in the Boston Marathon to funding to support nutrition, medical, and fitness research and education at Tufts.

"I was stunned by the news," Megerle said. "This award is the payoff for coaching and working with so many fine young men and staff members over the years. I m incredibly humbled and moved to be so honored."