Nov. 23, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- Jack Bauerle, who has led Georgia's women's swimming and diving program to four national championships and who has served as the head coach at the Olympics, was inducted into the Montgomery County (Pa.) Coaches Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
Bauerle, a native of Glenside, Pa. and a graduate of La Salle College High School, was inducted at Westover Country Club in Jeffersonville, Pa. The other inductees were Tom Shirley, the basketball coach and athletic director at Philadelphia University; Barb Clipsham, the two-time field hockey state champion at Methacton High; and the late Chris Bockrath, a football coach at Archbishop Kennedy and Kennedy-Kenrick high schools. Previous inductees include Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda and Connecticut basketball coach Geno Auriemma.
“It was such a great night,” Bauerle said. “I was very proud to be there and honored in the place where I grew up. It meant so much to me to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, particularly with the three I went in with. It was fun being on the home front and talking about Georgia in the Philadelphia area. I left as an 18-year-old and I’ve been in Georgia for over 40 years. In a sense, I have the two best homes anyone could ever have.
“It was terrific night. It stirred up a lot of great memories.”
At Tuesday’s banquet, Bauerle was introduced by Dick Shoulberg – the longtime coach at Germantown (Pa.) Academy and Bauerle's mentor. He also was joined by Kristy Kowal, a Reading, Pa., native who was a seven-time individual national champion under Bauerle at Georgia from 1997 through 2000. Led by Kowal and Courtney Shealy – both of whom will enter Georgia’s Circle of Honor in April of 2012 – the Lady Bulldogs won the program’s first two NCAA titles in 1999 and 2000.
“It meant the world to me to be there with Dick Shoulberg,” Bauerle said. “He’s been a great friend to me throughout the years. I cannot imagine what my life would be like without him in it. I was also thrilled to be there with Kristy. Our careers are somewhat intertwined; the stars lined up at the right time for us. I’m fortunate to have coached an athlete as talented and driven as Kristy. She and Courtney changed this program forever.”
Bauerle began his career at Georgia as a record-setting swimmer from 1971 to 1974. After serving as an assistant coach, he took over as the head coach for the women's program in 1979 and then added the title of men's coach in 1983.
Bauerle has guided the Lady Bulldogs to four national championships and six runner-up finishes as well as eight Southeastern Conference titles. Bauerle has been chosen as the NCAA Coach of the Year five times and as the SEC Coach of the Year 15 times. He has produced 77 individual national champions, including five last season.
Bauerle is the winningest women's head coach in NCAA history, the winningest head coach for both women and men in SEC history and the fourth-winningest head coach for both women and men in NCAA history.
Bauerle also has left his fingerprints on United States swimming. He served as the head coach for the women at the 2008 Olympics, and he led Team USA to an Olympics-best 14 medals. Bauerle also has been a head coach three times for the World Championships, including 2011, and he has coaching experience at the Pan Pacific Games, the World University Games and the Duel in the Pool.
Bauerle recently was chosen for induction into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. That ceremony will take place in April of 2012.