Sports: Revered swimming coach to be inducted into hall of fame

PORT ANGELES — Like father, like son.

Don Fairbairn will receive an honor Saturday morning that few sons can claim. The 73-year-old former longtime Port Angeles High School swimming coach will be inducted into the first high school swimming coaches hall of fame alongside his father, the late John Fairbairn.

The ceremony will take place at the 2005 state high school swimming and diving championships at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way right before the start of the championship events, about 11 a.m.

Don Fairbairn has coached several Port Angeles state champions and All-Americans during his 19-year career as a high school head coach. He also coached club swimming teams a few years before starting the prep program.

But Fairbairn isn’t giving himself credit for the honor.

“I want to thank the school and community, and all the kids who turned out and worked hard,” Fairbairn said during swimming practice at William Shore Memorial Pool on Wednesday. “Because of them I have been accorded this honor.”

Fairbairn also thanked his longtime diving coach, Jack Grantham. And of course his wife, Norma, who supported him all these years.

The hall of fame induction ceremony will have special meaning for Fairbairn, a 1949 graduate of Aberdeen High School, because his father — a longtime Aberdeen head coach — will be inducted at the same time.

John Fairbairn died in 1986, a year after Don Fairbairn quit coaching because of a heart attack and bypass surgery.

John Fairbairn, perhaps the top prep coach in his day, coached what turned out to be two future coach hall of famers — his son, Don, and Dick Hannula, a 1946 Aberdeen graduate.

Hannula, to be inducted Saturday morning, too, coached Wilson High School to 24 straight state titles and was a nationally ranked prep coach.

More in Sports

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Lefties centerfielder Ronnie Rust tumbles to the ground after crashing into the fence fielding a long fly ball in the second inning against the Bellingham Bells in June 2019 at Port Angeles Civic Field. The Lefties will begin the 2021 season at home on June 1.
LEFTIES: Boys of Summer return to Civic Field

The college-aged boys of summer will return to Civic… Continue reading

MEN’S BASKETBALL: Peninsula College rides strong defense to big win over Edmonds

Peninsula College clamped down defensively and shared the ball and… Continue reading

OUTDOORS: April offers options including the start of halibut fishing

APRIL IS A PRIME month for anglers, with halibut opening April 22… Continue reading

Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News
Forks' Kyra Neel slides safely into third during the second game of a doubleheader against Raymond on Tuesday at Tillicum Park in Forks.
PREP SOFTBALL: Forks splits doubleheader with Raymond

Kyra Neel and Kyrissa Duncan each go 7 for 8 at the plate

Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News
Forks shortstop Logan Olson makes the tag during the first game of the Spartans' doubleheader sweep of Ocosta at Fred Orr Memorial Field in Beaver on Tuesday.
PREP BASEBALL: Forks stays unbeaten with doubleheader sweep

Forks tamed the Ocosta Wildcats, coming from behind for a… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Jay Cline
The first "test event" of cyclocross was held at Extreme Sports Park outside of Port Angeles in late March. Races that are part of the normal cyclocross fall circuit are scheduled at the site in October and November.
ADVENTURE SPORTS: Cyclocross passes its test; more races to come in the fall

Extreme Sports Park hosted the first-ever “Cyclocross” event on… Continue reading

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Peninsula women cancel three games due to COVID-19 protocols

The Peninsula College women’s basketball team has canceled its… Continue reading

Most Read