Fall Newsletter

Dear WETS, Sep. 2019

WET’s celebrate September 20th -22nd in Austin. It will be a great weekend in Austin. Friday afternoon is the annual alumni relays. Friday night is our 44th annual WETS Banquet and FRANK ERWIN AWARDS. WETS is honoring five great Longhorn Swimming and Diving legends and truly remarkable Off-Deck Heroes: Rip Esselstyn, Bryan Jones, Terri Seipel-Hinohoso, Claire Sanders McCall, Annabelle Cripps and Chuck Warner and Dana Abbott

Reserve your place before the dinner is a sell out!! www.wetswim.org/banquet/

$$ WETS Dews Are Due $$

Thanks for helping Texas Swimming stay afloat. Take a look at this year’s Early Bird contributors and if you don’t see your name…PLEASE use our website www.WETSwim.org to pay your dues or send a check to us: P.O. Box 132614, The Woodlands, TX 77393. Do not send more than $100.00 (unless you are paying for banquet tickets), as big donations are still needed to help UT Swimming & Diving 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, website hosting and enough left over for a sizable donation to Men’s and Women’s scholarship funds. We appreciate all the work Scott and his bride Karan are doing to help the organization! 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!

So appreciative of our 2020 Donors as of August 20th!

Century Members

Bruce & Beth AndersonTim & Nancy CarterKenneth & Karen FlahertyGuy Hagstette
Mac & Chris BaxterRobert CotnerJames & Lynne Liberato FlodineTommy & Shanna Hannan
Jeff & Jennifer BlanchardColleen & John CoxKatherine GardnerMartha & Brendan Hansen
Julie & Thomas BliemelKent & Andrea DicksonErin Howarth & Brent GarriepyKurt & Terri Hardy
Bob BlodgettDru & Laura DunworthLance GordonCarol Heller
Nathan & Shanda BreazealeDoug & Amber ElenzSanford & Lisa GottesmanMarty Hubbell
Patrick & Bella BrundageDarrell & David Rey FickJody & Sheila GrantDebbie Hurwitz
Bob & Miyuke KitzmanJoe & Melinda LaJoiePeggy & David LittleLouis & Lynn Maganiello
Dana & Richard MayR. Michael McKinlayTom & Regina NicholsScott Patterson
Melvin & Christie PattersonDebra & Chance Preitkis-JonesPoston & Kelly PritchettRichard & Rhonda Ravel
Richard & Candance ReevesMarvin & Shirley RichRobert RivesBill & Carol Robertson
Susan & Richard SantamariaMatt & Rebecca ScogginTony & Mary Beth ScottMacie Smitherman
Laura & Mike StyslingerDavid & Edwina ThomasGreg & Carole ThompsonBrian & Carol Vance
Neil & April WalkerDr. Jim WillersonDick & Michele WorrelAnn Dolsom Worthington
Michael & Dana AlterSam & Shay KendricksGlenn & Claire McCallHill Taylor
John & Blake HenryTerrianne & Jo JaremkoFred & Claudia MachellTed & Stacy Doyle
Brian & Katrina EswayTom & Beatrice GoodwinStuart & Amy SmithSam & Shay Kendricks
Chuck Warner

The new Outdoor pool project is coming along swimmingly!!! WETS encourages you to help support this fantastic new addition that has been years overdue!! Much appreciation goes to our late friend Jeff Heller and of course our athletics director, Chris Del Conte. If you would like to donate to scholarship support or our current top funding priority, the Outdoor Pool Facility… please contact Billy Humphries (), 512- 471-2433


If any of you have pictures, news or address changes; please send to WETS or email me . Jill Sterkel () is keeping up with all email addresses and getting news out to all of us. Please let her know your email and mailing address so she can continue to build a great support base for Longhorn Swimming and Diving…….

The Longhorn Swimming family has lost another legend: Marvin Rich, Team Manager for Hank Chapman’s 1954-1956 teams recently passed away. He and his wife Shirley rarely missed a reunion and were often seen supporting the team at meets over the last 60 years. He received the Frank Erwin Award in 1996. Marvin took over the WETS purse strings from Treasurer Joe Gilbert in the early ’90s and served us well until handing over the books to $cott Mactier in 2013. Our prayers are with Shirley and the family…

Another sad note is the passing of Roger Tolar, another great Longhorn Diver who also swam in the late ’40s and early ’50s. I knew Roger very well and the list of lifetime accomplishments are amazing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Carolyn and the Tolar family. Take a moment to read Roger’s obituary…

Longhorn Legend Doug Gjertsen is moving back to Texas where he will take over as head coach of Alamo Area Aquatics in San Antonio. http://www.aaaa-ne.com/clubs/6517/announcAAAA-NE-Welcomes-New-Head Good timing, as San Antonio will be inducted into the TSDHOF in May 2020 as its Distinguished Club.

Another interesting story of our Texas Swimming Family comes from an email from Will Glass (All-American butterflyer Class of 2017). Will began working for former UT All-American Sean Foley (Class of 2003) and founder of Nine Banded Whiskey among other things. Thanks for sharing Will:

“Hope all is well. I just wanted to share something that happened last week that speaks to the tradition of Texas Swimming. I’ve been working with Sean Foley for a year now and extremely grateful that Kris Kubik connected me with him, and grateful that he gave me the opportunity. Last week we had our annual team retreat. We were supposed to stay the night at a ranch in Mason and do some team bonding. After some miscommunication we had to change the destination of our retreat and settled on an Airbnb in Fredricksburg. We ended up walking into a little bar named “Hondo’s.” I’m sure you have heard of Hondo Crouch, Founder/Mayor of Luckenbach, TX. A famous man in the Country Western scene who was also aswimmer at UT (https://www.texasmonthly.com/travel/the-man-who-dreamed-up-luckenbach/).

“Sean kicked off the meeting in Hondo’s with everyone taking a turn to speak about something nice about anybody on our team. He spoke of the importance of Texas Swimming and how it brought him to Austin and eventually led me to joining his company. The energy in the room was incredible by the time everybody had spoken, something I haven’t felt since we were winning national championships or losing them. It felt especially ironic sitting in a bar named after a Texas swimmer, with my boss being one as well, and his graciousness to bring me along on his team.”

I have heard great things, but not seen the new Hall of Fame in the North End Zone. Lucky for us, Jill moved our social before the Erwin dinner to the new Hall of Fame. If you won’t be in Austin for the reunion weekend, then perhaps you can make the Grand Opening this Friday!!! It’s a celebration of our great history with the grand opening of The Frank Denius Family University of Texas Athletics Hall of Fame. Later that evening, we enshrine 14 new members into the Texas Athletics Hall of Honor. That class includes Patty Sabo Karsten (1983-1987) An NCAA individual champion and 15- time all-American, Patty (Sabo) Karsten helped lead the Longhorns to four-consecutive NCAA team titles from 1984-87. Karsten, who excelled in the distance freestyle and individual medley events, earned four all-America honors as a freshman in 1983-84. She placed third in the 1,650 freestyle, fourth in the 500 freestyle and eighth in the 400 individual medley and was on the 800 free relay that took third at the 1984 NCAA Championship while helping the Longhorns claim the national title.

Wish I had more time or pages to brag about Longhorn Swimming & Diving past, present, and future… Let’s all try to unite September 20th-22nd in Austin!! Calling all ‘9s….. It will be fun to see which team from the ‘9s has the most return! Don’t forget to reserve your spot for the WETS banquet and the weekends festivities…

Bill Robertson