Larry Zoller

2015 Contributor Award

Larry_ZollerCoach Zoller started his competitive swimming career in 1959 with Portage Park Swim Club in Chicago, Illinois under the legendary club and Northwestern coach, Jack Bolger.  From 1961 -1965 he attended Notre Dame High School in Niles, Illinois. There he continued his swimming and was the captain and most valuable swimmer in both his junior and senior year, holding the school record in the 100 butterfly. He was also a member of Notre Dame’s football and track teams.  He attended Loyola University on a swimming scholarship in 1966 and was a member of the varsity water polo and swim teams. After deciding to pursue a career in education as a teacher and swim coach, he transferred to Kent State University in 1967.  Larry began his coaching career in 1970, working with a variety of high schools and club teams in both Ohio and Indiana.  During the forty-four years of his illustrious coaching career, Larry’s teams produced multiple state champions, All-Americans, and Academic all-Americans. In 1991 he was given an opportunity to design a K-12 swimming program with the Metropolitan School District of Mt. Vernon.  Under his direction, Mt. Vernon High School swimming teams won 37 conferences and 31 sectional championships. His Mt. Vernon teams also excelled academically with 36 swimmers/divers achieving Academic All-America honors.  Overall, he coached 63 All-American swimmers/divers.  Six swimmers achieved Olympic Trials cuts, two of whom went on to the Olympics.  He remained in that position for 23 years until his retirement.  Larry’s dedicated service to the Indiana High School Swim Coaches Association was exemplary.  He single-handedly created a procedure for electronically extracting sectional results in order to build the state championship meets.   On multiple occasions, Larry traveled to the IHSAA Offices on the evening of sectional finals to ensure that this protocol was carried out correctly.  Larry created a system for assigning team rankings through NISCA Power Points.  He was also a champion of professional development through his coaches association, and an outspoken advocate for student-athlete opportunities and recognition.    In 2012 he was selected by the Evansville Living Magazine as the community’s best role model.  Larry continues to live in Mt. Vernon with his wife, Brenda. When Larry wasn’t at a swim practice or swim meet he is also an avid scuba diver, kayaker, long distance and off road motorcycle rider.