Ed Kirk was a mentor and coach at BSAC for many years, impacting young lives through the joy of swimming. He was passionate about the sport his entire life and always went out of his way to share that passion with others. Coach Ed had a fulfilling career which all began with being the DuSable High School Swim Team captain. In 1950, Ed became the first African American Illinois State Champion in the individual medley. He received a full scholarship to Tennessee State before representing the U.S. Armed Forces in an international meet in Lamur, Belgium. Ed had incredible endurance, once swimming over 25 miles in 16 hours before reaching exhaustion.
He worked for the U.S. Postal Service and then as a Natatorium Instructor in the Chicago Park District before moving down to Florida to join the BSAC coaching family. Coach Ed will always be love and remembered. We are grateful to have had him on our team.
“I wasn’t nearly the fastest or strongest swimmer Ed ever coached, however he has impacted my life in so many ways. From being my first swim coach at BHS, to training and pushing me to be a lifeguard/swim instructor at BSAC, and even up until last summer assisting with our swim program at ACTT. I will always be grateful for the lessons he taught me in and out of the water.” – Tiffany Beltran
Ed asked that donations be made to BSAC for the Learn to Swim program in lieu of flowers. His celebration of life was held at BSAC on Friday, April 27th 2018.
You can view his last interview with Fox News here: