Ron "Stix" Ballatore, who coached the UCLA men's swimming team for 16 seasons, including guiding the Bruins to the 1982 NCAA championship, died tonight in a Gainesville, Fla. hospital from bone cancer, the university announced. He was 71.
UCLA finished in the top 10 in the NCAA championship 15 times and top five nine times under Ballatore. Ballatore coached 28 Olympians at UCLA including five-time gold medalist Tom Jager and two-time gold medalist Brian Goodell.
After UCLA discontinued its men's swimming program in 1994, Ballatore was Brown University's coach for two seasons, then was the University of Florida's coach. Ballatore was an assistant coach with the U.S. men's swimming teams in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games, Peru's team in the 1968 Olympics, Ecuador's team in the 1972 Olympics and Israel's team in the 1976 Olympics.
Ballatore was inducted into the American Swim Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009. He was voted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame on April 5.
Ballatore's survivors include his wife Ann, daughters Lisa, Jenne and Angelina and sons Ronald and Brent.
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