Holding in high esteem the values of character in family,
sport and business and true to Yutaka Terao’s personal commitment to athletes,
friends, coaches and the sport of swimming, Paul Blair is a worthy recipient of
the Yutaka Terao Award.
The award is presented annually in honor of Terao, a
co-founder and former president of the World Swimming Coaches Association.
As owner and coach of the Arkansas Dolphins, located in
Little Rock, Coach Blair has been an inspiration to thousands of kids over the
years. He demands discipline, hard work and dedication from his swimmers; he
returns love, spirit and one hundred percent effort to them.
Coach Blair’s Arkansas Dolphins were the U.S. Men’s Team
National Champions in 1989, and have been perennial Arkansas Age Group
Champions, winning almost every title between 1979 and 2004.
Blair has helped his swimmers become U.S. National
Champions, Olympic Trial qualifiers and National Age Group record-holders. His
swimmers have won a gold medal at the Olympic Games (1996) and silver medals at
the Pan American Games (1987) and World Championships (1998). He has had a world
ranked swimmer every year since 1983.
As a coach, Paul was the 1993 and 2001 USA National Junior
Team head coach and 2001 USA World University coach.
As president of Paul Blair and Associates since 1979, he
has been a successful business man and team leader. He has served as vice
president of the American Swimming Coaches Association and been an influential
member of the USA Olympic International Operations Committee, International
Swimming Hall of Fame Congress, USA National Team coaches’ staff, the state of
Arkansas Governor’s Council for Sport and Fitness, and the West Little Rock
Optimist Club as president and life member.
Coach Blair shares his modest, down-home type of
personality with every previous recipient of the Yutaka Terao Award. Sharing his
knowledge of swimming with everyone and treating everyone as a personal friend,
he is an internationally-respected goodwill ambassador for the sport.
Recently, Coach Blair has been fighting cancer, a battle in
which he continually has stayed one step ahead. He has tremendous faith in
persevering through this illness, but he also uses his faith in working to help
his athletes achieve success. He shares his life with others.
Paul is married
to Mary Dawn and is the father of three daughters, Shawna, Marissa and Lindann.