Aquatics has lost three members of the greater coaching community.
Olympic swimmer and coach Jack Nelson, former UC Berkeley coach Karl Mohr, and Ferrum College coach Tom Calomeris all passed away in early November.
Nelson died on November 5 from causes related to Alzheimer's disease. He was 82. Mohr died on November 3 from the effects of Parkinson's disease. Calomeris was driving home from practice on November 4 and had a heart attack. He was 72.
Nelson, who was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1994, is best known for coaching the 1976 women’s Olympic team to win against the East Germans in the 400-meter freestyle relay, according to his obituary in The New York Times. His career was not without controversy, however. He would later go on to coach endurance swimmer Diane Nyad, who accused Nelson of sexual molestation throughout her teens. He maintained his innocence, but Nyad continued to repeat the charges even as recently as earlier this year.
Mohr was a member of the UC Berkeley Men's swimming and diving family for 40 years. He became assistant men’s swimming coach in the late ’70s just before the team won its first back-to-back national championships in 1979 and 1980.
His background extended beyond the pool, with a passion for holistic healing and a love of the arts. He had a positive influence on the team and passed on his love of life to those around him. According to a press release posted on the Cal Bears website:
“For any and every man who came through the Cal program, we have all had our lives changed for the better in part thanks to Karl,” said former Golden Bear swimmer Ben Shepard in a Facebook post. “And to everyone, as Karl would say, ‘Keep Shining.’”
Calomeris joined Ferrum College in 2012 as the women's swim coach and soon after started the men's program.
Previously he coached the Catholic University men’s and women’s teams from 1987-2004. He won four conference titles and three National Catholic School Division III crowns.
He was an assistant coach for the U.S. swim team at the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta.