The Annual Paragon Awards, sponsored by Pentair Aquatic Systems, are presented for outstanding contributions to: Competitive Swimming, Water Polo, Competitive Diving, Aquatic Safety, Synchronized Swimming and Recreational Swimming.
Leland Yarger (USA) Ball State University / Coordinator of Aquatics and Instructor of Physical Education
2009 Paragon Award / Recreational Swimming
On the college and university levels, Lee Yarger established a major curriculum in Aquatics with the Aquatics Field as a Major Degree. It may be the only one of its kind in America. At Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, he is the Coordinator of Aquatics and Instructor responsible for developing and teaching curriculum for the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Science (SPESES) including graduate and undergraduate (major and minor) level materials. His responsibilities include: department advisor for major and minor students in aquatics, internship coordination and liaison, departments safety officer for
risk management issues, basic CPR and first aid instruction for faculty, direct responsibility for instructional equipment (justification, acquisition, maintenance and security), instructor for core classes and faculty representative for SPESES undergraduate aquatic programs and curriculum.
Yarger got his start in the Aquatics Field in the mid 1980s in the United States Marine Corps, training marines to be lifeguards and operating pools on the military bases in Okinawa, Japan. From 1991 to 1998, while earning B.S. andM.S. degrees in Administration of Justice and Work Force Education and Development Program, he accepted more responsibility as Lifeguard, Crew Chief, Administrative Assistant and finally Aquatic Supervisor at Southern Illinois University. He received his Masters degree in 1998 while serving for the U.S. Department of Defense as the Aquatics Director for Morale, Welfare and Recreation at the Marine Corps Air Station in Iawkuni, Japan. He was responsible for developing and administering the full Aquatics program. For the next five years from 1999 to 2003, he served asAquatic Supervisor for the cities of Hallandale Beach and Miramar, Florida, with all responsibilities that oversee aquatic planning and monitoring for two of Florida's fastest growing cities.
Yarger's Aquatics Curriculum at Ball State University serves as a model for future curriculums on the college and university levels.