Bob Steele Joins ISHOF’s One in a Thousand Campaign As One of Swimming’s Long-Time Contributors



Bob Steele, who is known as one of swimming’s great motivational speakers, has joined the One in a Thousand Campaign, designed to help the Hall of Fame prosper during the COVID pandemic.

“The Hall of Fame has been a favorite since the 50’s when Buck Dawson was there. When I was a swimmer, we trained in Fort Lauderdale and we used the old Casino Pool, which just had ocean water in it. It was old school.”

Steele had first swum down in Fort Lauderdale in January 1958 with coach Rob Casey when he was a freshman at Southern Illinois University. Steele has since contributed about eight paintings to the Swimming Hall of Fame that were on display in the museum over the years and was “on a first name basis” with ISHOF CEO Buck Dawson.

“We always used the Fort Lauderdale Casino Pool for training during Christmas time and the thing that made Christmas training in Fort Lauderdale so good was sub-standard housing. In my coaching, we trained in Fort Lauderdale probably 10 or 15 times. We could spend money elsewhere and enjoy the sunshine.”

Bob Steele has been out of coaching for a couple of decades, but is looking forward to the grand opening of the new facility when it is finished.

“I’ve been to the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies three or four times. When Sam Freas was the director, he had me come down and I had a certificate for training at the Hall of Fame pool because we came there so many times.”

Bob Steele was a long-time coach at Southern Illinois University as he helped the Saluki men finish 12th at NCAAs in 1982 and 1983. Steele received the Distinguished Alumni award from Southern Illinois in 2016 and was also inducted to the American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) Hall of Fame that same year.

Join the One in a Thousand Club by helping ISHOF on a monthly or one-time basis.

For larger corporate sponsorships and estate-planning donations, please contact us at

The International Swimming Hall of Fame wants to know if you are one in a thousand?  We think you are! Show how special you are and become a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s “One In A Thousand” Club.  Help keep the International Swimming Hall of Fame moving forward toward a new vision and museum by joining now!

During these unprecedented times, the ISHOF Board is calling on every member in the aquatic community to make a small monthly commitment of support to show how special you are and how special the International Swimming Hall of Fame is to everyone.

Our goal is simple. If we get 1,000 people to simply commit $10, $25 or $50 per month, we will generate enough revenue to go beyond this Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis.” – Bill Kent – Chairman of the ISHOF Board

Those that believe in our vision, mission, and goals can join us in taking ISHOF into the future and be a part of aquatic history.”  – Brent Rutemiller – CEO and President of ISHOF

Since 1965, ISHOF has been the global focal point for recording and sharing the history of aquatics, promoting swimming as an essential life-skill, and developing educational programs and events related to water sports. ISHOF’s vision for the future is to build a new museum and expand its reach by offering its museum artifacts digitally through a redesigned website.

The ISHOF Board of Directors is calling on all members of the aquatics community to make a small monthly commitment to show their dedication to aquatics and how special the International Swimming Hall of Fame is to everyone.

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