Naming PHS pool for Slagle the right thing to do

IT WOULD BE A fitting and proper tribute. The Plymouth School Board heard a request last week to rename the pool at Plymouth High School the “Mike Slagle Aquatic Center.”

The board gave its blessing to a fund-raising effort by a community group to purchase and install two plaques designating the pool in honor of the late high school athletic director and swim coach.

Gale Grahn, speaking for the group – which also includes Adam Brill, Jay Grosshuesch, Todd Neils, Scott Richards and Sam Suchon – told the board there is widespread support for the commemoration and that the group is hoping to raise around $2,500 to make and install the signs.

Slagle passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last July at the age of 60. He served nearly two decades as athletic director at the high school and coached boys and girls swimming, one or the other or both, for more than three dozen years.

In that time, he racked up 25 conference champions and coached five All-American swimmers and one state championship – a record of excellence unequalled in school history. He was named Wisconsin State District 4 Athletic Director of the Year in 2014, crowning his coaching accomplishments.

But more important, and more lasting, was his impact on all of the young men and women he coached and taught over the years, as well as on the community as a whole.

“Whatever Mike did, it was for the kids, for the community,” Grahn stated at a Celebration of Life ceremony for Slagle last July.

In an editorial in The Review at the same time, our Sports Editor Greg Ceilley said Slagle’s positive impact on high school athletics and the community was “immeasurable.

“He touched so many lives in such a positive way,” Ceilley continued in that editorial. “Mike was one of those rare individuals who would go the extra mile to help others any way he could. He played a key role in the success of PHS sports and the school’s impressive athletic facilities.”

As such, renaming the high school pool to honor Slagle would be especially fitting.

His impact, of course, goes way beyond the confines of the high school pool. Those he coached and taught over his long, distinguished career, and those he worked with, learned by his example and leadership important life lessons well beyond mere winning and losing.

They carry his spirit, his caring and his dedication with them in all their pursuits and efforts, creating a ripple effect throughout countless communities and endeavors.

Mike Slagle lives on through all of them, and having his name on the high school pool would be the finest way to ensure that he will be rightly honored and remembered.

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