Jeff Seaquist

In celebration of Arizona's centennial, the Star will feature our picks for the 100 best athletes, moments and teams.

Throughout the summer, we will showcase our list - with the first 90 in no particular order. In August, columnist Greg Hansen will choose his top 10, with a column on each.

Jeff and Gerry Seaquist


Jeff Seaquist and his father, Gerry, were a team.

Jeff arrived in 1984 to coach the Phoenix Xavier College Prep girls swim team and added his dad one year later.

They were co-head coaches. But for fun, they rotated the coaching title every season for a while.

Later, Gerry took over when Jeff got married; Jeff then became the boss again, before and after Gerry retired.

By the time Jeff left after the 2006 season, the father-son tandem had 20 state titles to their names.

As head coaches, officially, it was Gerry 10, Jeff 10.

"Exactly even," Jeff said.

The two helped the Gators dominate the pool.

Xavier finished third in Jeff's first year, 1984, and was second in 1987 and 1998.

They won every other season from 1984 to 2006.

Stunningly, during that span, the Gators didn't lose a single dual meet.

The Seaquists - both Western Illinois graduates - insisted their swimmers not participate in outside clubs during the season.

They pointed to a change in the team's attitude after winning the 1985 title, and a willingness of the swimmers to shuffle events to earn the most possible points.

"When it comes to high school swimming, it's a team sport," said Jeff, who left Phoenix to teach in the Denver area.

Gerry, now retired, said the school was one reason for success.

"It's a constant effort for excellence," he said. "Not only with swimming but with the education and the school itself."

Hometown; age

Gerry: Chicago; 74

Jeff: Chicago; 50


"To be able to share that with him was great."- Jeff, on his father

Patrick Finley