Retiring Hope College coach John Patnott is humbled that he will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America next week at the organization's annual awards banquet.
The 58th annual CSCAA event will be held Monday, May 7 at the Hilton Orrington in Evanston, Illinois. Patnott will be recognized along with retiring Wheaton (Illinois) College head coach Jon Lederhouse.
"It's really an honor to be recognized. There are many deserving coaches out there," Patnott said. "This is totally unexpected. I never look for awards like this, so when they come, it's a bit of a surprise."
He founded Hope's swimming & diving program in 1978 and, during his tenure, he has coached 30 national champions, 118 All-Americans, 41 Academic All-Americans, 19 women's Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association team champions, and 12 men's MIAA team champions. He was named NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year three times by the CSCAA: 1998 and 1994 for the women, and 1991 for the men.
Dr. Kirk Brumels, chairperson of Hope's Department of Kinesiology, said this is an amazing award which appropriately recognizes the work of someone we know as an outstanding professor, swim coach, mentor, colleague and friend of many.
"Hope and Hope College Athletics has been fortunate that we have been and continue to be the main recipients of JP's lifetime of achievement," Brumels said. "It has truly been an honor for many of us to learn from and work with JP. A true legend!"
Wheaton's Lederhouse, who retired after the 2016-17 season, told CSCAA that Patnott exemplifies the qualities that distinguish Hope College: academic excellence and a deep Christian faith joined together to strengthen each other in a supportive and welcoming community.
"I can speak personally to that effect for when my youngest daughter was diagnosed with cancer, John had his Hope teams send her cards and pray for her during that entire swim season," Lederhouse said. "I am humbled to be included in the same award tribute."