Ex-UCLA coach Ron Ballatore dies

Updated: April 27, 2012, 11:59 PM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Ron Ballatore, who guided UCLA to the 1982 men's NCAA swimming championship and coached in five Olympics, has died. He was 71.

The school said he died Friday at a hospital in Gainesville, Fla., after a long battle with bone cancer.

Ballatore served on the coaching staff at five Olympics, including with the U.S. team in 1988 and '84, Israel in 1976, Ecuador in 1972 and Peru in 1968.

During his 16 years at UCLA, the men's team had a 109-51 dual meet record and Ballatore was Pac-10 coach of the year three times.

He coached 28 Olympians, including gold medalists Brian Goodell and Tom Jager. Ballatore's swimmers set 11 American and NCAA records and held several world records, including Jager's 50-meter freestyle mark.

After UCLA's men's program was discontinued following the 1993-94 season, he became head coach at Brown for two years before moving to the University of Florida.

Ballatore also was on the U.S. coaching staff for three world championships and the 1975 Pan American Games.

He was inducted into the American Swim Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009, and was voted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame earlier this month.

A Chicago native, Ballatore coached at Pasadena City College before going to UCLA.

Survivors include wife Ann; daughters Lisa, Jenne and Angelina; and sons Ronald and Brent.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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