Chandler High School is remembering a longtime swim coach who died from COVID-19 during the summer. The Chandler Unified School District’s governing board voted on Wednesday to rename the aquatics center after Kerry Croswhite. He coached swimming and softball and taught social studies at the school for 15 years of his 35-year teaching career.

Wednesday night’s decision by the board was deeply touching to Kerry’s wife, Laurie, who has continued to coach at Chandler High after her husband’s death.

“It’s an honor for his memory, and it carries on his legacy for swim,” she said.

The board began by reading directly from the tribute Rep. Greg Stanton, D-Arizona, made in Congress shortly after Kerry died in July.

“His legacy will be remembered for generations of students, teachers and faculty to come. Thank you, Coach Croswhite, and Godspeed,” he said.

Kerry’s wife says it would be hard to find anyone on campus who didn’t know him.

“He was a mentor. He was a father figure for some of them. He was kind of a counselor for some of them,” she said.

Board members themselves had high praise for the coach.

“Kerry Croswhite always wanted the best for everyone he ever encountered. His light never dimmed, and he taught us all so many lessons,” a board member said.

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The meeting had limited capacity, but Laurie and her son were special guests for the vote. Members of the swimming community had been asking the board about naming the pool in Kerry’s honor.

“It’ll be amazing to see his name there, but painful to know that he’s not here,” Laurie said.

There will be an official renaming ceremony at the aquatics center on Dec. 5.