Class of 1965
Ward took over the Rincon swim program in 1985 and led the Rangers boys program to five state championships and seven second-place finishes in his 27 years.
He also won one girls state championship and was named the Arizona Daily Star's coach of the year in 2002.
“As a coach, I lost count of the number of Coach of the Year honors he won. He also recently told me that he has coached more 100 freestyle (or maybe it was 50 freestyle, I can’t remember) state champions than any other swim coach in state history. As a SCUBA instructor, I’d make a large wager that almost every single certified diver in Tucson was either certified by Mike or has at least gone on one of his famous El Duque dive trips in San Carlos at some point.
And those are just the two hats he’s most well-known for wearing. He was Wilbur Wildcat for a semester at the U of A, a member of the U of A rugby team, a cattle roper for John Wayne (aka The Duke, the namesake for Mike’s boat), a state-champion high school gymnastics coach, a rodeo clown, a U of A cheerleader, the list goes on for a mile.”
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