Hampered Gardner Kicks On, Still Makes Champions

He has coached over twenty national all-scholastic swimmers, 38 high school All-Americans, 13 Olympic trial qualifiers, and he also coached the 2000 Olympic gold medalist Samantha Arsenault. The WPI Athletics Department mourns the passing of assistant swimming and diving coachDon Lemieux, who passed away on Saturday, January 29th. Don has been on the WPI coaching staff since the opening of the Sports & Recreation Center and also was the owner and head coach of the Greenwood Swim Club, which swam out of WPI.

Friday night, Lemieux said his coaching days at Gardner High are over. He is also the superintendent of the Greenwood Pool, where the team trains. Earlier this season, he spent a week at swim camp at the University of Virginia. Like Greenwood, camps like these are for swimmers who are serious about the sport. SHIRLEY — When Sam Folger showed up for swim team tryouts at the local pool, the coach said he was too young. Lemieux said he couldn’t control students coming to Gardner to swim for him and school officials could have told them no.

And that’s what happened, according to an email sent to Cornetta by superintendent of schools Carol Daring on Sept. 12. When Lemieux arrived a few minutes later, he phoned the Cornettas’ home, but the call was not answered. A concerned parent of one of the swimmers then volunteered to “go pound on their door,” Hursey said. “When I got there, the girls said, `Katie’s not here,'” Hursey told the T&G last week. With Don it was always about the kids and their swimming and not about himself.

There were sectional champions, state champions, NCAA champions, Olympic qualifiers and — to punctuate his career with a giant exclamation point — an Olympic Gold medalist in Samantha Arsenault. roku narrating everything To ultimately place Gardner in a section that included teams from Cape Cod was nothing short of ludicrous, but it showed how much Lemieux’s Wildcats were revered — and feared.

In her collegiate career, she started as a walk-on at Purdue University, and ended as Big Ten champion in the 200 fly and an NCAA All-American. She graduated with a degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Jewelry and Metals and a minor in Art History. After her collegiate career, she stayed and trained at Purdue, completing her career with the 100 and 200 fly at the 2008 Olympic Trials. Lemieux’s influence extends beyond athletics, according to his former swimmers, who say he placed equal emphasis on academics. On Feb. 25, six days after the state meet, Debbie Strachan, the mother of GHS swimmer Taylor Strachan, one of five to boycott the event, also wrote an email to the mayor.