I first met Gerry Rodrigues in February 1996, when I was 62 years old and a Professor of Engineering at UCLA. I joined the group to become fit and improve my health. I did know how to float and slowing swim across the pool, but not much more. However, with Gerry’s expert and patient coaching, I soon learned all four of the swim stokes and became somewhat proficient in the breast stroke, the back stroke and the difficult butterfly stroke.
One of Gerry’s most admirable traits is his enthusiasm for swimming and teaching others how to correctly swim. His approach is to announce to each lane exactly what he wants them to do and in what allotted time. So every lane ends their drill at the same time. This procedure built a sense of esprit de corps in the group. I looked forward to swimming each day, thanks to Gerry, and hope to someday be coached by him again. His enthusiasm is infectious and his skill as a couch is unsurpassed.