Swim coach James Wagner, pictured at left, died Sept. 15 at Emory Hospital. His death spurred former area swimmers to remember the World War II pilot, Yale University graduate and visionary local swim coach, who helped bring prominence to the first swim association in Sandy Springs.
Former swimmer Susan Reid, far right on the bottom row in the pool, recalled Wagner’s team of the mid-1960s featured in the photo. Reid said the team was close knit and led by a “a cool, calm” but competitive and disciplined Wagner, who she referred to fondly as “Coach Wagner.”
Many swimmers were from Sandy Springs neighborhoods, including Mountaire, Mt. Vernon Woods, Glenridge Forest and Hammond Hills.
Wagner’s teaching propelled Sandy Springs’ swimmers to national rankings and helped several swim students compete in college, Reid said.
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