DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

XCP to say goodbye to former swim coach Seaquist

 Xavier Prep has had many athletes, coaches and administrators carry the school’s banner of excellence over the years, but one of the most decorated people was Gerry Seaquist, who guided the swimmers and divers to 10 state championships and a few state runner-up finishes.

Seaquist died on Jan. 26 at the age of 85, and a Memorial Mass will be held at Xavier’s Chapel of Our Lady on Saturday at 1 p.m. There will be a reception afterward.

He is survived by Sandy, his wife of 63 years, sons Joseph, Jeffery (Deborah) and John, 8 grandchildren and 4 great-grandhildren. Jeff Seaquist coached alongside his father for several years and earned many state titles as head coach.

Seaquist graduated from Arizona State in 1974 and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict.

Among his biggest achievements were the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s selection of him as the Girls Swimming Coach of the 20th Century and his induction in 2004 to the Arizona High School Coaches’ Hall of Fame.

According to Sister Lynn Winsor, long-time Xavier Athletic Director and Vice Principal for Activities, Seaquist was at his best while working with the athletes at the pool on a daily basis as well as working with them in the classroom as a history teacher at XCP.

“He coached a long time for us and the swimmers were dedicated to him,’’ Winsor said. “He ran a regimented practice but they had a lot of fun. They were spirited and I don’t think there were many teams who had more spirit than the Gators, no matter where they finished.’’

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