Former men’s swimming coach George McMillion was inducted into the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame Sept. 9., joining A. R. “Red” Barr as the only Mustangs to receive such an honor.
McMillion served as the head of the SMU swimming program for 16 seasons after assisting Barr for 14 years.
“It’s amazing that another one of our coaches has been inducted to the hall of fame,” said former SMU swimmer Ferdi Postma. “It just shows how far the program has come and that it is here to stay.”
During McMillion’s tenure as head coach, the men’s swimming and diving team ranked among the nation’s top 20 teams every year. His teams ranked in the NCAA Top 10 a total of 14 times, including a runner-up finish in 1983, still SMU’s highest NCAA finish.
He contributed to eight Southwest Conference championship wins, and had a 160-39 overall dual meet record; this includes an undefeated season (16-0) in 1979.
McMillion coached 78 NCAA All-America swimmers and divers during his career, including Olympic medalists Steve Lundquist, Jerry Heidenreich, Rich Saeger, Ron Mills and Ricardo Prado.
A former Mustang swimmer himself, McMillion was team captain in 1954. He won seven Southwest Conference individual championships and never lost a backstroke event in the three years he lettered. He held conference records in both the 100 and 200-yeard backstroke.
“McMillion deserves to be inducted into the hall of fame,” said senior swimmer Emilio Garmendia. “Just look at everything he has brought to the SMU program as a swimmer and a coach.”
In 1972, 1976, 1977 and 1984, he received Southwest Conference “Coach of the Year” honors and was named NCAA District Six “Coach of the Year” in 1973.
McMillion received the prestigious “Big D” Award from the Dallas All-Sports Association in 1978.
“His statistics and accomplishments are amazing,” said current SMU swimming coach Eddie Sinnot. “As a family we are excited for him.”