Larry Stackpoole


Livonia, Michigan

Foam-Fare Reference:

My Life After Patton:
Not  much competitive swimming after high school.  I graduated from MSU in '73 and UM in '76 (MS Environmental Science). I have been a teacher in Detroit since 1973 and at EMU since 1985. Married in 1971, one son Mark who graduated from MSU (whew!) in '98.  While I haven't done much swimming, I have remained on the water since those days. I sail and kayak.
Some Things I Remember:
 I moved back to the US from the Bahamas in the summer of 1963 and eventually wound up at Patton.  I attended Benedictine High ('66) so I swam with Tom Lees ('65 All American) against some of the Patton swimmers like the Szubas who were eventually in my schools league.  The first season was a hoot.  Tom and I started a team and for our first meet we had two swimmers who had competed: Tom and I.  He did the sprints and I did the distance stuff and we both did two strokes in the team medley.  We must have looked pretty funny.  I dove too which was a laugh since I had never done that.  That changed and we were bumped up to the class A division the next year. I had to hitchhike quite a distance to get to practice and I was often late but I never heard a mean word from Coach Sullivan.  I had more than a few swim coaches but Sully was different. You would think I'd remember the great swimmers, big meets and the great finishes but I swam for so many years with so many teams in different countries and I lost all my medals and ribbons after moving around so much. But, I still remember the outstanding people... who were also very good athletes.
While my time at Patton may not have been my most productive years, it certainly was my most positive athletic experience.  Patton was the first time I had fun swimming so it kind of changed the way I looked at swimming. I would have done better if that had been my first and only experience. I was at Patton off and on and when I was there, it was the best swimming in terms of coaches and team members.  Most of the kids at Patton were very different, more accepting and nicer than the high-pressure teams I had been on since a very early age. Can't say enough about the coaches and team members.  I have yet to find place or group that provided a better experience for kids. After teaching for 28 years I find the "never quit" attitude of athletics to be a valuable asset when dealing with many students who don't want to be in school and have little or no intrinsic motivation to excel.

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