Davis to retire after legendary four decade career

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Sue Davis, head coach of the men’s and women’s swim teams, announced her retirement on Tuesday.

Davis has coached the women’s team since 1974 and the men’s since 1983. Under her guidance, the swim program has consistently developed excellent student-athletes, including 101 national qualifiers and 48 All-Americans. Davis has led her teams to three conference titles — the women’s team won the Centennial Conference in 2001 and 2002, and the men’s team won the Middle Atlantic Conference in 1989.

In addition to swim coach, Davis has served several other roles at the college. From 1978 to 1983, Davis was also the head coach of volleyball. Davis was brought on as a member of the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Rules Committee between 2000 and 2004.

“Four decades is a long time for anybody’s career and she did a multitude of things while she was down here,” said Athletics Director Adam Hertz. “We are indebted to her service.”

For 10 years between 1992 and 2002, Davis held the title of Senior Woman Administrator in the Athletics Department. Davis’ longtime colleague and women’s lacrosse head coach Karen Borbee, noted that Davis was at the college when the men’s and women’s athletic departments first combined and that very few women were coaching men’s collegiate sports teams when she took over the men’s swim team.

“I would say that Davis has played an integral role for gender equality in sports at Swarthmore,” said Borbee.

David Ranshous ’16, a captain of the men’s team, wrote that the team will remember Davis fondly.

“Sue is a coach that brought a wide breadth of knowledge and experience to our team, both in the pool and out,” he said. “She understood the relationship a student at Swat has between athletics and academics. She was incredibly passionate about winning both duel meets during the season and performing well at our conference meet at the end of the year.”

Ranshous specifically mentioned Davis’ “SportsCenter” tradition, where she would sit down with the team and review the season, lifetime, and college records set at each meet.

“It was things like ‘SportsCenter,’ and other traditions that have been carried on throughout her extensive time as head coach that have helped make Swat Swim what it is today,” continued Ranshous. “Sue will surely be missed.”

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