Presidential Honor Award
2016 John Spannuth (USA)
For over fifty-years, John Spannuth has been one of the most influential, impactful and innovative
leaders in the field of aquatics. John Spannuth’s professional life in aquatics began in 1956, when
he was hired as Aquatics Director at the Reading YMCA, in Reading, Pennsylvania. This led to his
being hired as the Aquatics Director and Head Swimming coach for Phillips Petroleum Co. in
Bartlesville, Oklahoma where, in seven years, he developed one of the best age group swim teams in
the country. He was the National Aquatics Administrator for the AAU where, on a national level, he guided all four disciplines plus long-distance swimming. He was one of the founding fathers of Adult Age-Group swimming, today known as Masters Swimming and served as president of the American Swimming Coaches Association. Sergeant Shriver tapped him to be the International Director of the Special Olympics in Washington D.C. where he guided the growth of Special Olympics for Eunice Shriver and helped to build it into an internationally recognized program for persons with mental disabilities. He served four years in the Middle East as Aquatics, Sports and Recreation Administrator in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, while teaching swimming on all levels, including competitive swimming, to native children of the region.
Today, in addition to being the President and CEO of the United States Water Fitness Association (USWFA) he is a well-known national and international conference speaker and promoter of all aspects of aquatics.
The Presidential Honor award is not given out every year and it is totally up to the discretion of the President of ISHOF of who receives it. This year, Bruce Wigo is taking the opportunity to use this award to thank and recognize John, not only for all that he has done for aquatics, but for what he has done personally to help him in so many ways during the past ten years - with his encouragement and positive, uplifting thoughts. He has also been an invaluable historical resource, mento and friend. This Award is Wigo’s way of publicly acknowledging John for all he has done for him and for the Hall of Fame.
Recipients of the Presidential Award.
2004 Bill Matson/Robert Duenkel
2003 John Ebert
2002 Michael Swerdlow
2001 Sam Forester
2000 Alice Kempthorne
1999 Norman D. Tripp
1998 T. Denis Jotcham
1997 Rogers B. "Tiger" Holmes
1996 Jean Henning
1995 Sam Freas
1994 Reed Ringel