Nov 22 2021

Some of you may already know this, but Greenfield High School Head Swim Coach for the Girls and Boys team passed away recently.


You can read the obituary here - https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/name/dale-schrank-obituary?id=31584191


The following is a eulogy shared by former SWAT swimmer and coach, and current parent and Board Member, Jack Chmielewski.


Whether you were a child taking your first Swim America lesson or an Olympic hopeful, Dale Schrank was there to encourage you through your journey in the pool. Dale’s passion on the pool deck was unmatched. Not only did he care about the technical growth and performance of his swimmers, but more importantly, he cared about the people that his swimmers would grow to become outside of the pool.

Dale founded Southwest Aquatic Team in 1982.  As an adjunct to the competitive swim club, he started offering swim lessons through Swim America which has grown to more than 1,800 registrants annually. Furthermore, Dale also coached various high school boys' and girls' swim teams in which he was instrumental in developing successful swimmers throughout, including many state qualifiers and champions.

As a coach, Dale's passion for coaching on all fronts was unparalleled. He knew exactly what buttons to push to get every last ounce of energy out of each and every one of his swimmers.  Everyone in the pool knew when Dale had a swimmer in the water as his trademark whistle was a level or two above anyone else cheering on deck. When he whistled more frequently, and remarkably somehow louder than the standardized norm, you knew as a swimmer that you had a great race going.  This whistling phenomenon elicited another gear within Dale's swimmers and resulted in a harder drive to the finish - often times acting as the driving force to surpass the competition.  Dale's unique coaching style made swimmers want to swim hard for him. Even in celebration, Dale could amaze his swimmers! Many jaws had to be picked up off of the floor over the course of his coaching tenure after he completed post-race celebratory front flips off of the diving board to show his excitement. Furthermore, his strategic planning when it came to championship meets was second-to-none. Whether it was manipulating relays at the last second or trying to get the middle lane in the second-to-last heat, Dale was playing chess while everyone else played checkers.

If you weren't swimming in the pool yourself, but just happened to cross paths with Dale, you undoubtedly had a conversation with him about swimming.  Dale was happy to talk swimming with anyone within shouting distance, at any time, and for any available amount of time.  The excitement that Dale encompassed for the sport and for his swimmers was evident in these conversations.  When it came to swimming, he had an exceptional, almost photographic-like memory for all things swimming dating back decades. Dale could vividly recall every swimmer that he ever coached, their best events, their best times, and even the smallest moments of their most exciting races.  Like a proud parent, he genuinely enjoyed sharing these moments with others and "talking shop" any chance he got.

Off deck and without his coaching hat on, Dale was at the helm of some great side ventures.  For many years, Dale owned and operated the Fountainwood Pool in Muskego. During that time period, “The Wood” was a home base for SWAT practices, Swim America swim lessons, a high school girls kick-off swim meet, 4th of July fireworks after morning practice (thanks to his brother Mark!), community open swim, and the annual SWAT picnic. The Wood was Dale’s home-away-from-home all summer long and undoubtedly holds many special memories for countless swimmers.  So many families throughout the years reaped the benefits of Dale's dedication to this facility and the offerings held within. In addition, as a certified bus driver, Dale very often was even able to drive his teams to swim meets or various team outings, such as the annual haunted house get-together. There really wasn’t anything Dale couldn’t (or wouldn't) do for his swimming network.  He was as selfless of a person as you will ever meet - always putting his swimmers and his staff before himself.

As we all know, there is usually a "person behind the person" that is integral to the success of any given entity.  In the case of Dale's pursuits, his wife - Melody, was this person. For years ongoing, Melody efficiently managed and juggled all the logistical and administrative swimming-related tasks behind the scenes so that Dale could spend every possible moment on the pool deck doing what he loved.  Because of Melody's unwavering dedication, Dale was able to touch the lives of thousands of swimmers and to make a difference in so many people’s lives. Given her duties though, as a light-hearted gesture, Melody most likely also deserves an award for having listened to the highest number of the "Dale swim stories" mentioned earlier - whether she remembers them all as clearly as Dale always did or not!   :)  Special thanks to Melody; her role has been a gift to us all!

SWAT is more than just a swim team... it is a family.  We lost a significant member of our family this weekend, but we will continue to grow, to empower our children through their development as swimmers and through their personal growth as individuals, and to foster passion for the sport of swimming.  For all of this, we say “thank you Dale”. You will be missed, but never forgotten.