Superstar Coach Loses His Battle Vs. Cancer

Auburn, Ala.--Richard Quick, who was diagnosed with a cancerous inoperable brain tumor in December, lost his fight with the disease and died on Wednesday night.

Head coach for the Auburn men's and women's swimming and diving teams the past two seasons, Quick is considered one of the top coaches in the history of his sport.

The 65-year-old coach came out of retirement for the 2007-2008 season to return to Auburn where helped build the program into a national power three decades earlier. Assistant Brett Hawke was named interim men's head coach and led the men's team to the 2009 NCAA Championship. Last month Hawke was named co-head coach for both the men's and women's programs.

"Richard's passing leaves a tremendous void, not only in the swimming community and the Auburn family, but to those individuals who he touched the most," Hawke said. "It would be in Richard's greatest honor to not dwell on his loss, but to celebrate his life and the characteristics he embodied, which were his perseverance, compassion and his humanity. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Richard's family during this extremely difficult time."

Quick coached teams to a record 13 NCAA team titles and is a six-time U.S. Olympic team coach. Respected by swimmers and coaches around the world, for months he has received support and well-wishes from those people as he tried to battle the cancer using a variety of experimental treatments.

Richard Quick coached countless national and world class swimmers during his career.

Quick came to Auburn in 1978 and coached through 1982 before leaving for Texas. He coached five NCAA team titles there, seven at Stanford and one at Auburn. He came out of retirement to take over for David Marsh, who he had coached at Auburn.

Quick also worked as head coach for one season at Iowa State and one season at SMU, his alma mater, where he graduated in 1965 and a master's in 1977. He began coaching in 1965 at Memorial High in Houston.

"We are tremendously saddened by the passing of Richard Quick, who is one of the finest individuals that I've ever known," Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs said. "While he lost a valiant battle against a cruel disease, Richard was an inspiration to countless people who were touched by his steadfast faith and amazing courage in the face of tremendous adversity.

"Richard will be remembered as one of the greatest coaches in the history of swimming, but more importantly, he will be remembered as a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and teacher," Jacobs said

"Our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to the Quick family, his wife, June; children, Michael, Kathy, Tiffany and Benjamin; grandchildren, Blake and Emily; as well as our swimming and diving team and coaching staff."

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