Yutaka Terao was the first
president of the World Swimming Coaches Association. He cared for
athletes, coaches, friends and the sport of swimming in a way that will always
be remembered. This award perpetuates his name and its recipients
exemplify his caring attitude. He died in Fort Lauderdale on May 13,
2001. This award is presented in his memory to represent the enthusiasm,
high spirit, leadership skills, sharing of knowledge and goodwill personified
by others in their coaching endeavors.
Jim Farrar loves swimming. He spent most of his adult life coaching
high school swimming in Connecticut. For fifteen years, beginning in 1958
at Sacred Heart High School and another twelve years at Naugatuck High School,
Jim and his teams earned eight State Championships, two New England
Championships, seven undefeated seasons, a national high school record of 70
straight dual meet wins, over 60 State and New England swimming records and a
combined dual meet record of 297 wins and 53 losses.
Jim Farrar's life is much more than numbers, as this is only a part of his
story. As he puts it: " Just wanted to make sure that every one of (my)
boys was going to have a successful life."
At age 14 in 1928, he joined the Naugatuck YMCA, swimming races from 40 yards
to the annual 5-mile New Haven to Bridgeport Cross-Harbor Swim, which he won or
had several top finishes over seven years.
In 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and graduated from both Gene Tunney's
physical education program and Tom Hamilton's (who became the Naval Academy's
well known football coach) course for water safety and survival swimming for
pilots and air crews. Transferred to Opa Locka, Florida, he directed the
Hamilton course and among the78,000 men he trained was Lt. John F. Kennedy, who
was part of an expanded course to include PT boat crews.
In 1948, he was asked to start a boys swimming team at Sacred Heart High
School in Waterbury, CT. The school didn't have a pool and didn't receive
a salary. Jim recruited swimmers by waiting outside the basketball tryouts and
snatching up boys who didn't make the cut. Some had never swam a stroke in their
lives, but all they had to do was be willing to work hard. Over the years,
many of his swimmers received High School All-American recognition. In
1964, he began coaching the Naugatuck High School Boys Swim Team and at
retirement in 1976, he was the winning-est high school boys swim team coach in
Connecticut state history.
Jim Farrar's coaching accomplishments earned him widespread reputation as a
master strategist. He consistently won swim meets against superior teams.
Strategic placing of swimmers during meets was his greatest strength. He
impressed upon his swimmers that they needed to learn and use strategy in order
to be successful in life. His practices were always competitive in order
to handle the pressure of meets. To his swimmers, this was the best
preparation for confidence to do well in the pool and also to learn how to deal
with pressures in life.Most of Jim's students came from factory families in the town of Waterbury.
They had to cram in homework between afternoon jobs and nightly swim practice
when the competitive high school pool was available. Hand-me-down sweat
suits were the team uniform and they traveled to meets in a caravan of parents'
cars. Swimmers quickly learned that what they had on the inside was far
more important than the monetary things on the outside. Coach Farrar's
personal sacrifice and example, such as working in a factory all day to raise
his family and giving his nights and weekends to be the team's unpaid coach,
instilled many principles by which his swimmers continue to live their lives.Coach Farrar was the "old school" before the term was invented. He
checked every report card of every swimmer in every school term. If a
swimmer missed practice, he didn't make a phone call, he knocked on their door.
Friday nights were team dinners at the Farrar house as were Christmas and other
holidays. He always wore a shirt and tie when coaching. Sports
Illustrated wrote a feature story on his team in 1954 and Yale coach Bob
Kiphuth used Farrar as a stroke coach for legendary Don Schollander. He
has been married to his wife Helen for 68 years.All the while, Jim Farrar seemed genuinely concerned with one thing;
transforming boys into men. A recent testimonial to Jim reads: "Presented
with respect and affection to Jim Farrar, our Sacred Heart High School Swim
Coach, who instilled in us the disciplines of hard work...pursuit of
excellence...integrity...and sportsmanship, which have been such positive
influences in our lives." -- From "your boys" of 1947-62