HAYS, KS --- Men's swim team? At Fort Hays State University? Not since 1959. But Sept. 30, members of FHSU's men's swim teams, which only existed from 1957 to 1959, will meet again and celebrate at Homecoming.
The swim team lasted for only three seasons, but managed to win the conference championship under the guidance of Coach Don Adee and team captain Leroy Giersch, FHSU graduate.
"The Fort Hays team was the hardest-working group of young men I've ever worked with," said Adee. "Initially inexperienced, but champions all the same," he said.
Adee helped initiate the FHSU swim team in the winter of 1956, then led his team through its first season and to its first victory in 1957. They won the central collegiate title from swimming powerhouses Pittsburg and Emporia State after losing to them during the season.
Adee said, "The win at Fort Hays was the most satisfying of all my coaching experiences. Having taken those boys from little or no experience to a collegiate victory was very gratifying."
Brooks Kellogg, retired businessman and an FHSU swimmer and graduate, said that Adee was an inspirer. Kellogg owns the Tau Kappa Epsilon house, but credits some of his success to being a swimmer. "Swimming involved a certain amount of self discipline that made good people of us all," he said.
Giersch and Kellogg will unite with the approximately 15 other swimmers expected to show on Saturday, Sept. 30. The team will tour Gross Memorial Coliseum and Cunningham Hall, as opposed to their familiar Sheridan Coliseum, and see the new facilities.
They will later teleconference with Adee, who is unable to attend. Finally, they will be officially honored at the football pre-game ceremony with a keepsake team handbook.