Bev Ball, a mainstay of West Texas Swimming has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America. The coaching legend will be recognized at the CSCAA's 57th Annual Awards Banquet on May 8th at the Bahia Resort in San Diego.
“I am so inspired by Bev’s relentless passion for and engagement in our sport, and especially her continued sincere investment in each and every athlete that comes into her program. She is an amazing example for all of us about how to stay in the profession for the long run, and how to be a difference-maker in the world. Bev is so deserving of this honor.” –Anne Goodman-James, Head Coach, Colorado College
When McMurry University started its swimming program in 2000, it was looking for an experienced coach. Not many could boast 48 years of experience, but Bev Ball could.
The Throckmorton, Texas native took the reins of the McMurry program after starting out her coaching career in 1951 at Jefferson Middle before moving to Abilene High, Cooper. A year later she established Abilene’s age group program.
Today Ball continues to derive energy from her swimmers and divers – both past and current. At a recent high school meet she remarked that seven of coaches on deck were former swimmers of hers. Included among her former swimmers are NFL quarterback Colt McCoy and Mark Fox, former Deputy Commander of United States Central Command).
Ball has been a pioneer on many levels. In addition to establishing the program at McMurray she led the War Hawks through the transition to Division II (and again back to Division III).
Because of her dedication and loyalty to the area, her programs, students and student-athletes, Ball has earned recognition in many different areas. She was the first-ever winner of the TISCA Service Award. In 1998 she was named Fox Sport Southwest “Coach Who Makes A Difference” and also awarded the Theron Pickle Outstanding Achievement Award by Texas High School swim coaches. Bell has also been named the Chuck Mosier Girls Coach of the Year named after Mosier the legendary Abilene High football coach. She has been inducted into Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame for her service to Abilene High and Cooper. To celebrate 55 years of coaching Abilene mayor Norm Archibald declared June 10, 2006 as Bev Ball Day.
Ball has also been named the American Association of University Women (AAUW)’s Woman of Outstanding Achievement and earned the Texas Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Last fall she was further honored by being selected to throw out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers game (it was a strike and the Rangers won) and next fall she will be inducted into the McMurry Athletic Hall-of-Fame.
"Bev could be elected mayor of Abilene without spending a dime campaigning. She will always be an important part of our success at McMurry and we are grateful to her. She is a true gem who makes everyone around her better. We are grateful for being blessed to be a part of her story." – Sam Ferguson, McMurry Athletic Director