To earn 500 wins takes a special coach.

Since 1984, Seymour swimming and diving coach Dave Boggs has demanded excellence from his program.

Boggs recently earned the 500th win of his career at the annual ‘S’ Invitational.

For his career, Boggs now has a record of 260-107-2 for girls teams and 253-131-1 in boys competitions.

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Boggs’ résumé speaks for itself.

He’s coached one U.S. Olympian, 12 All-Americans, two state champions, two state runners-up and 31 academic All-Americans. But Boggs said the most rewarding part of his job is seeing his swimmers improve and grow.

“It’s great when you do really well at state or take a big contingent to state. Those stick out,” Boggs said. “But really, we stress to our team from day one that it’s all about working hard and being the best you can be. I will always be happy at sectionals when we see the big drops. The team placings are great and this and that. You can’t choose who you swim against, but you can’t always choose how you swim.”

During the school year, Boggs teaches physical education at SHS.

“I love it,” Boggs said. “The kids keep me young. That’s one of the great things about education. Teaching the students all day and working with them after school, I think, keeps you young at heart. You never know what to expect with them. Each day is a new day. There are a lot of great students here in this school, and it’s a pleasure working with them every day. If we see them swimming or diving phenomenally at sectionals, that’s what it’s all about.”

In 2002, Boggs was inducted into the Indiana Swimming Hall of Fame. In 2007, he entered the Delaware County Hall of Fame in his hometown of Muncie.

Boggs, a 1975 Muncie North graduate, got involved in swimming in high school and continued at Ball State University.

“In Muncie, we belonged to a private club, and the manager there was a physical education teacher,” Boggs said. “He kind of got me into lifeguarding and coaching, and it went from there. My mom always kind of questioned why I wanted to coach swimming, and I told her, ‘Well, I’m kind of good at it.’ Two hall of fame’s later and kind of put it back in her face a little bit.”

In his 31st year of coaching, Boggs doesn’t see an end in sight.

“I don’t have a timetable for how much longer I want to coach,” he said. “I could have retired from teaching a couple of years ago, but I still enjoy doing what I do — day in and day out. As long as my health is good, and there’s no other variables pulling me away, I plan on coaching for several more years.”

His wife, Chris Boggs, attends almost every meet and helps run the officials table.

“She’s been doing the swimming with me here for about 25 years,” coach Boggs said. “It makes it a lot easier when she’s here and we can spend time together on the deck. She’s a big help for me behind the scenes as far as doing the paperwork for the swim club, entries and such. She’s a big part of why I’m still able to coach. It makes it easier for me to be here — she always supports me.”

Boggs has coached hundreds of swimmers.

“It’s special to see the swimmers come back and say hello,” he said. “I get emails from them, out of the blue, telling me stories. They will read our articles in the newspaper. I stay in contact with a lot of former athletes, and that’s very special to me.

“When it’s all said and done, I’m glad they can take something out of it. I want them to be good citizens, workers in the workforce and most of all to give back.”

While he’s had many opportunities to coach at the college level, Boggs said he wouldn’t trade SHS for anything.

“I really have enjoyed living in Seymour,” he said. “I wasn’t sure when I started coaching if I would do high school or college. I’ve had options to coach in college, but if I stayed at a high school, I wanted to stay in a town like Seymour. All the successes and failures are on me, and I can handle that. This has been a great place to live, and I couldn’t pick a better place to be.”

Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at or 812-523-7069.