WETS 2016 Newsletter!

WETS 2016 Newsletter!

Dear WETS,

2016 was a great year for Longhorn Swimming and Diving. The Men won their 12 th NCAA title and the Women won the Big XII. Thanks to you, our little organization blossomed with support last year and we do hope you will support WETS again this season. Even the smallest amount means you care and support the greatest University and our swimmers, divers and coaches! Breaking News (heartbreaking for us, that is) After 34 years of gracing the pool deck, impacting the lives of all that experienced his positive attitude, talent and love; Kris Kubik is calling it a career. He is at the heart of history’s greatest swimming dynasty!

“There is a time in everyone’s career, be it coaching or whatever profession they so choose, that the chapter should close and one should move on to the next page and see what that holds,” Kubik said. “There’s not a defining moment for me in terms of why this is occurring right now. I just feel at this point it would be best for the program and for me to let someone else come in, enjoy the experiences I’ve had and be a part of the very special group of guys we have right now.

“My health is as good as it possibly could be, and I’m quite content,” Kubik continued. “I love The University of Texas, and I love Austin. I’ve come to grips with the fact that sooner or later I would have to stop doing this and this just seems, at the end of the (Olympic) quadrennial, to be a very good time to do it.”

We are so happy for Kris and what the future brings. Please read more about Kubik’s impact at UT and share your Kris Kubik tributes and stories on the Texas Swimming and Diving Facebook page.


WET’s celebrate September 9th and 10th in Austin!

Friday night, September 9th, is our 41st annual WETS Banquet and FRANK ERWIN AWARDS. WETS is honoring five great Longhorn Swimming and Diving legends: Tim and Nancy Marter Carter, Aaron Piersol, Brandon Gardner and Melanie Hauser! We will also have a tribute to our 2016 Longhorn Olympians!

Jill has secured a new location for the banquet in the Touchdown Club. The Club is located on the 8th floor of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium’s North End Zone; enter through gates 14/16. Parking is available in the Manor Garage for a fee. We can now seat up to 200 guests!! Please get your reservation to Chairman TED DOYLE through the WETS website right away!

Don’t miss your chance to get WET Friday afternoon at the fun Alumni Relays. Saturday will be the letter-winners tailgate party before the UTEP game. This year’s event is again co-sponsored by the T-Association and WETS. All letter-winners and their families are invited as well as WETS members. JILL STERKEL is doing a wonderful job of coordinating the T-Association and we are grateful for her hard work in getting this all together. Jill has sent out a reservation card. Look for more details below.

We are honoring all members of teams from the ‘6s: 1946, 1956, 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996, 2006 and 2016… for the weekend’s events… My captain from the 1978 team Darrell Fick serves as our WETS recruiting coordinator and has contacted all the captains for those years, and you might expect a call, email, text, tweet, friend request etc… from your captain!!!


WETS in this letter?

– WETS DEWS and Longhorns for Life… a great way to give back to UT swimming and diving

– Reunion Weekend Invitation and 2015 Frank Erwin Awards

– Men win it all… AGAIN

– Longhorns in Rio

– Texas Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame Inducts Matt, Whitney and Jamie!

– What does it mean to be a Texas Swimmer?

– WET Spots…

You should receive this in the mail?? We only mail one newsletter a year with the contributor envelope – mostly to make sure we have your mailing address and of course to nudge you to send us a little splash of cash to continue our good deeds! We will be sending you WETS letters via email and posts on our website throughout the year. If you are not on the Longhorn swim network email list or the T-Association list, or you do not get this letter in the mail, then please contact ">Jill Sterkel with a good mailing address.

$$ WETS Dews are Due $$

Thanks for helping Texas Swimming stay afloat. Please use our website to pay your dues or send in the envelope when you get it in the mail with your 2015-2016 donation (plez wets your own stamp to save us some $$$). Do not send more than $100.00 (unless you are paying for banquet tickets), as big donations are still needed to help UT Swimming by donating to the Longhorn Foundation or Longhorns for Life. Don’t forget to check Swimming and Diving when donating!!!

Our treasurer, $cott Mactier, reports that we are in good financial condition and have plenty of liquid assets to put on our annual banquet, provide the team awards and Erwin plaques, print and mail this fun letter and help where we can. We appreciate all the work Scott and his bride Karan are doing to help the organization! Our balance stands at $20,146.32. Your little splash of cash helps us promote UT Swimming and Diving, gives honor to our great past and helps the future of Burnt Orange Aquatics!

Here are our Top Four suggested ways to financially support Texas Swimming:

#1….WETS limits your contributions to your WETS organization to no more than $100.00 so you can give where it truly counts.

#2….The Longhorn Foundation: Many of us give to the Longhorn Foundation and will continue to do so for football ticket preference and to help athletics. The T Association has now made it possible for gifts of any size to go directly to Swimming and Diving.

#3….Longhorns for Life: With the big changes to college athletic funding, it is important for us to show support for our Swimming and Diving Programs and ensure they thrive. There are two ways to contribute: Longhorns for Life-Sport Support and Longhorns for Life-Scholarships.

The phone # for the T-Association is 512-471- 6864.

Longhorns For Life Program – Swimming/Diving – The Longhorns for Life program allows you to make a gift that will directly impact our swimming and diving programs – guaranteed. Your gift is 100% tax deductible and every cent goes to support a current student-athlete making the same ripples that you once made on the 40 Acres. We challenge you – UT Men and Women Swimming/Diving alumni – to have the highest participation percentage of all Longhorn sports. Any amount is helpful and participation is crucial. We’re off to a great start.

#4….Endowments: We have a great start with the following endowments listed below. Most of these endowments are not yet fully funded, and there is a minimum amount needed to contribute to them. If you would like to donate in honor of one of the named scholarship endowments… please contact Jill 512-471- 6864.

  • Jane Dillard Hanger/Tex Robertson Endowed Presidential Scholarship
  • Henry M. Jungman Endowed Presidential Scholarship
  • Carol and Jeffrey M. Heller Endowed Scholarship in Swimming I
  • Carol and Jeffrey M. Heller Endowed Scholarship in Swimming II
  • Dr. James T. Willerson Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Hank Chapman Endowed Scholarship in Swimming
  • Head Swim Coach Endowment
  • Jeffrey M. Heller Endowed Swimming Scholarship
  • Joe Conley Bowling Endowed Scholarship
  • Tex Robertson Swimming Endowed Scholarship
  • Will Sarosdy Endowed Scholarship in Swimming
  • Pat and Jane Kneip Patterson Swimming and Diving Endowment.


Swimming & Diving Reunion Weekend

  • Hosted by the T-Association and W.E.T.S.
  • Friday, Sept. 9th
  • 4 pm: Alumni Relays (UT Swim Center)
  • 6 pm: Social Hour (Touchdown Club)
  • 7 pm: W.E.T.S. Banquet (Touchdown Club)
  • Access to the Touchdown Club is by elevators on the north side to the 8th floor
  • Reservations for the W.E.T.S. Banquet can be made through www.WETSwim.org
  • Century members $25 pp (limit 2), other WETS members $50 per person.
  • All reservation for the WETS banquet must be placed through WETS.

Space is limited for this event!

Please check out the Frank Erwin Award tab on our website to find out more about the award and see a list of all the inductees and their photos since the first award was given to Frank in 1973. There you will find a nomination form for deserving contributors to Longhorn Swimming and Diving. Please let us know if you are a former honoree and you have a picture (or better picture) for us to display…send it to us and we will add or replace it.


2016 Frank Erwin Honorees

Aaron Piersol: Three-Time Olympian, current world record holder in the 100- and 200-meter Backstroke. Five-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time Olympic silver medalist. NCAA Champion 200 Back; 2003, 2004. Continues to serve as one of swimming’s most beloved ambassadors.

Tim Carter: Top Texas high school recruit in 1973. Letterman 1974-77. All-Southwest Conference and NCAA qualifier three years. 1972 Olympic Trials semi-finalist 200m IM. BBA finance 1977. Silver Spurs 1976 and 1977. He has had a long career in banking and finance and a community leader serving as councilman and two-time Mayor of the City of Bellaire. Tim is President and CEO of the North Texas region of Southside Bank and serves as Vice-Chairman of Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. He and his wife Nancy are super loyal WETS members and have endowed a scholarship at the McCombs School of Business.

Nancy Marter Carter: One of the earliest UT women’s swimming letterman from 1975-77 under Coach Patterson. TAIAW Champion and AIAW qualifier in the 50 Free and 100 Free, 200 and 400 Medley Relays and 400 Free Relay 1975-77. Member of Bevo’s Babes 1975-77. BBA Finance 1977. Nancy is self-employed in the clothing business and is involved in numerous charities and serves on several boards. She and Tim have endowed a scholarship at the McCombs School of Business.

Brandon Gardner: Started diving for Longhorn Aquatics in 1984 under Janet Gabriel and dove for every coach prior to Matt Scoggin. He was a six-time all-American and scored at NCAAs all four years for Mike Brown’s talented Longhorn teams. He was the SWC champion in the 3-meter in 1991 and 1994. He coached age group divers at Longhorn Aquatics from 1998-2000. Brandon and his wife Heather (a former Florida swimmer) have four children: Ella (15), Lily (13), Campbell (9) and Elizabeth (7). Brandon has worked with his father Steve in residential and commercial real estate in Austin for the past 20 years.

Off Deck Hero:

Melanie Hauser: Long time Austin sports reporter who has covered UT Swimming and Diving since the mid-’70s. She began covering UT sports as a student for the Cactus and as assistant sports editor for The Daily Texan. After graduating in 1975 she covered UT swimming and diving extensively while at the Austin American-Statesman. She covered UT swimming and diving through the end of Coach Patterson’s tenure, through Mike Brown’s time and for the early part of Coach Reese’s and Kubik’s careers, traveling with the team and covering the first men’s and women’s national championships in 1981. Tex Robertson often referred to her as a POOLitzer Prize-winning writer. She moved to the Houston Post in 1983 and continued to cover the swimming and diving program and was on the swimming and diving writing staff at the ’84 Olympics in Los Angeles. She returned to UT to teach sports reporting from 2000-2011.


Longhorn Men win it all!! Make that 12!!

With the leadership of Eddie, Kris and Matt, our Longhorn Men won the Big XII and NCAA Championships. Eddie Reese has 12 titles to tie Ohio State Coach Mike Peppe, for most titles. They now have claimed a spot in the top five in 36 of the last 37 seasons. Check out the meet results and stories at www.texassports.com

2016 TEAM AWARDS (Provided by WETS)

Leadership: John Murray, Spirited: Jonathan Roberts, Most Improved: Max Holter Most Improved Diver: Sean O’Brien Most Valuable Swimmer: Will Licon, Most Valuable Diver: Mark Anderson

And then there were more: These young men will be on campus soon and ready to go to work!

Josh Artmann – Backstroke, Austin; Jacob Huerta – Fly\Sprint Free, Corpus Christi; Sam Kline – Mid Distance Free, Frisco; Jack Lanphear – Breaststroke, Pittsburgh, PA; Braxton Moore – Backstroke, Houston; Sam Stewart IM, Hattiesburg, MS (transfer from Auburn); Preston Varozza – Sprint Free\Fly, Austin.

Longhorns Headed to Rio!! (Begins Aug. 5th)

Townley Haas, Jack Conger, Clark Smith, Joseph Schooling (Singapore), Joanna Evans (Bahamas) and Texas Ex Jimmy Feigan.

The U.T. Athletics Department launched a Rio 2016 Olympics webpage to provide an efficient way to track all current and former UT athletes and coaches who will compete in the Olympic Games this August. Fans can view the page at TexasSports.com/Rio. Highlights of the page include a complete roster of current and former student-athletes and coaches who have earned and accepted official bids to the Rio 2016 Olympics for their respective countries, a history section providing a listing of all-time UT Olympic medalists and all-time UT Olympians (by both Olympiad and by sport), and a newsstand categorized by sport that will provide links to feature content, articles and videos. Once the Games begin, a Longhorns Medal Tracker will be added along with a daily schedule planner, so that fans can see all UT Olympians who will be competing on that particular day (along with respective sport, country represented, time of competition, and television/web stream broadcast information).

What would an Olympics be without Eddie… He’s headed to Rio as a coach for Singapore! You can read more about Ed’s adventure here.


UT Swimmin Wimmin! By Carol Capatani

We had a very successful Olympic Trials, with girls in the finals and semi-finals in six of the eight nights, with our highest finish being 4th (Madisyn Cox in both the 200 and 400 IMs), and incoming freshman diver Alison Gibson 6th on 3m at U.S. Diving Olympic Trials. Half our team will finish their summer season at the U.S. Open and the rest will continue to train and race at a meet in Dallas.

We look forward to our freshmen joining us in August – Claire Adams (Carmel, IN), Lauren Case (Woodstock, GA), Kaitlin Harty (Beverly, MA), Jordan

Wheeler (Humble, TX) and Alison Gibson (Austin, TX).  Hook ’em

2016 TEAM AWARDS (provided by WETS)

Leadership: Tasija Karosas, Most Improved Swimmer: Rebecca Millard

Most Improved Diver: Meghan O’Brien, Most Valuable Swimmers: Madisyn Cox

Most Valuable Diver: Meghan Houston


Texas Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame: Whitney, Jamie & Matt Honored

Three legendary Longhorns were honored in April with their induction into the Texas Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame. It was our first ever ceremony at the home of the hall and it could not have been more fun and memorable. Almost 200 were on deck for a grand buffet and were treated to a diving and synchronized swimming exhibition. Please check out all the great pictures and videos from the event and by all means stop by the pool and check out the museum. TSDHOF.org

The TSDHOF is a non-profit organization and very much needs your support to exist. You may make a contribution online (it’s easy and appreciated) to honor an inductee or simply send us a donation to help us stay afloat. Longhorn legend Ricky Berens recently was added as the non-profits treasurer!! Donations may be sent to 7605 Hardy Dr.; Austin, TX 78757.


What does it mean to be a Texas Longhorn Swimmer? By Philip Nenon, ’79 – ‘82

When asked earlier this week to share my thoughts on this question, I found it both easy and very difficult. I’d spent time thinking about this topic with Kris’ retirement announcement. So I sit here now with a mix of emotions extremely happy for Kris and grateful for his (and Eddie’s) tremendous impact on me as an ex-athlete, person and even parent. But also a strange mix of excitement and some anxiety for coming changes with Texas Swimming since it remains important to me and generations of former UT swimmers.

Now the hard part of boiling down into a few words this question of what does it mean to be a Texas Longhorn Swimmer after this interesting week.

Accomplishment: Every one of the roughly 70 young men and women that jump in the pool every season day-in and day-out, come away with a sense of accomplishment. Some end up being Olympic gold medalists individually and national champions as a team. But the accomplishment is the same for the 35th swimmer on the roster struggling to make the traveling team or qualify for a championship time cut who put in the effort, improved their times, and helped push and inspire their teammates. Texas Swimming ingrained in all of us the recognition and appreciation for accomplishment for both self and team, which may be the greatest gift that can be imparted.

Other things being a Texas Longhorn Swimmer mean to me: Embracing learning and welcoming criticism.

Learning to handle failure as well as success. Helping build a legacy that is continually rebuilt by those that follow. And transitioning my passion from “doing” swimming to contribute by watching and supporting.

Finally, the lingering satisfaction of jumping back in the pool to work out (even after a 25-year gap), not to relive past glories but simply to enjoy being an “old geezer” paddling along for the same physical and emotional benefits you got as a kid leading you to the Texas Swim Center, resulting in lessons and relationships that last a lifetime.

Well said!!! Philip was an all-American, member of the 1981 National Championship team and Captain of the 1982 team. He rarely misses an NCAA championship meet and is undoubtedly one of our most loyal WETS and Longhorn swimming and diving supporters. Hook’em!


WETSPOTS….. If any of you have pictures, news or address changes; please send to WETS or email me . Our new website has been a blessing and I want to thank Jon Lucksinger (Tex’s grandson) for maintaining the site and posting all the great info and pictures.

Jill Sterkel – is keeping up with all email addresses and getting news out to all of us. Please let her know your email address so she can continue to build a great support base for Longhorn Swimming and Diving… Jill was just featured in a movie about the 1976 Olympic team when she captured gold as a member of the 4×100 relay. That race goes down as one of the greatest Olympic moments ever… Darrell Fick, Team Captain of my 1979 team has contacted most of the captains of the ‘6s to recruit their teammates. Show up and be counted… Captain of the 1946 team, Bill Johnson has confirmed and already sent in his Century donation! He still swims most days in Cypress Creek near Wimberley and still plans on making those classic Ole English name tags. If you can’t make the gathering this year then the ‘7s need to start planning… On June 11, 2016, Team Longhorn participated once again in Swim Across America in Dallas. Lead by captain Daniel Watters, seven former Longhorn swimmers (Jeanne Cunningham, Kirk Stackle, Lydia Chase, Bob Kitzman, Ryan Ried, and John Agathon) and one future Longhorn (Campbell Chase) swam in the open waters of Lake Ray Hubbard to raise money to help fight cancer through the Swim Across America Innovative Clinical Trials Center at Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center. Our small but mighty team raised over $40,000 towards $230,000 raised for the event overall. Please consider joining us for next year! Find out more information at www.swimacrossamerica.org. …. Troy Dumais at 36 years old was so close to making his fifth Olympic team. We have watched his wonderful career for almost 20 years. You can watch his tearful last dive and standing ovation at the trials on the USA Diving website… Almost half of the 1981 team was on hand to see our men’s team win in Atlanta. We posted a video interview of them reminiscing and their heartfelt appreciation of Eddie, Kris and Matt. Check it out!

As always I ran out of room to brag about Longhorn Swimming past, present, and future… Let’s all make an effort to unite September 9th and 10th in Austin!! Calling all ‘6s… Don’t forget to reserve your spot for the WETS banquet and the Tailgate Reunion… We are all going to miss the amazing Kris Kubik on deck, but I am sure he will pay his WETS dews and realize all that he helped accomplish and lives he touched throughout his many loyal years at UT.

Hook’em and see you there….


Bill Robertson