Between 1976 and 1995 George Klumb built a powerhouse swimming program at Naperville North. He even had an illustrious 40-year swimming career of his own.
“At that time, in our Naperville area, Naperville North was dominant,” Naperville Central Swimming Coach Mike Adams says. “And that’s probably ancient history and people forget that.”
Klumb manned the program, overseeing 13 Illinois High School Association top-ten finishes at the state meet. In addition, his teams won eleven sectional titles while finishing runner-up twice in state, with three other fourth place honors. He also coached eight state champions.
“He will be remembered by all of the accolades that you and I have talked about but I think the other thing that maybe needs to be stressed – George was a true gentleman, a true man for others,” says Adams. “He wanted the sports of swimming to succeed and I think that’s happening in Illinois.”
For his work at Naperville North, he was named Illinois State Swimming Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1995. He was inducted into the Naperville North Hall of Fame in 2012.
His coaching career mirrored that of his own swimming legacy.
Klumb was a U.S. Masters swimmer for 40 years, winning more than 40 individual state titles. He was also an eight-time top eight finalist nationally.
“He was a terrific ambassador for swimming. For Masters swimming by his participation,” Adams said. “For high school by his coaching. But it was so much more – he supported swimming in our community on a high school level, a Y level, a USS level as well as a park district level.”
George Klumb died on June 12 in Bradenton, Florida, and is survived by his wife Patti Jo Martin, children Tara LaMorte Larsen, Tracey Turkoly and Todd Klumb, and five grandchildren. He was 75.
Kevin Jackman reporting for Naperville News 17.