Longtime El Paso Cathedral coach Jack White dies

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The El Paso, Texas swimming community mourns the loss of a legend earlier this week, as longtime El Paso Cathedral and El Paso Aqua Posse coach Jack White died on Monday in the age of 56. Although no official cause of death has been published. , KVIA ABC El Paso reported that White suffered a strokee.

White started coaching at Cathedral in 1985 as an assistant coach and the following year he was promoted to head coach at just 21. He turned the boys-only school into a West Texas powerhouse, earning 31 TAPPS and TCIL private school state titles.

In addition to his work with Cathedral, White also worked with El Paso Aqua Posse as a head coach, where he guided several swimmers at the Olympics for the Mexican national team and allowed several swimmers to qualify for the 2000 US Olympic Swimming Trials. EPAP has always been the top club program in the LSC Border of USA Swimming, one of the smallest LSCs in the country.

For his efforts and success, White was inducted into the El Paso Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. At the time of his induction, the teams at White’s Cathedral held an all-time doubles competition record of 279-1. .

Several of his fellow coaches and former athletes remembered him as interviews with the El Paso Times yesterday. Former El Paso High School Coach Dow Farley said: “Coach White was a good man. He was a fierce competitor and will be missed by so many. Franklin High School Head Coach Polly Parry said: “Jack was a great person and dedicated to the sport of swimming.”

Miriam Guervara, who swam for White at the Aqua Posse, said, “I never thanked enough for coaching White. He always had a way to make me and others feel better, even when we were having tough days. He had a great sense of humor. Coach White was a great coach but more important[ly] he was a wonderful person who took care of people and did whatever he could to help you.

Xavier Navarrao, a former EPAP and Cathedral swimmer who swam collegially for Incarnate Word, said: “He’s the person who took me to the next level in swimming. He wasn’t a man who spoke a lot of words, but when he spoke it was always a truthful and empowering speech or comment. I really liked him giving me an honest comment when I didn’t do my best in a race. It was really special when he was giving a speech before a meetup or at our high school banquets. I used to swim at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio and it was all because of him. I achieved the goals I wanted to achieve thanks to him and I will always be inspired by his work ethic. His memory will remain in my heart as a great man, coach and teacher. Thanks for everything, Coach White.

In addition to his coaching work, White was a professor of social studies at Cathedral before retiring from teaching three years ago. He was originally from El Paso and swam for Eastwood High School in El Paso before becoming a teacher and coach in the area.


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