Castle Rock HS
Hall of Fame Class of 2005
Gary Swanson graduated from Kelso High School in 1960, where he participated in football, baseball and track and field. He attended Lower Columbia College for two years before attending and graduating from Western Washington University in 1964. He began his teaching career at Castle Rock High School in 1965 and remained there as a coach until 2002. Even after his retirement from teaching in 1992, Gary had a passion to coach. Gary coached cross country for fifteen years and his teams had nine top four finishes winning the 1982 State Title. His reputation as a cross country coach is very respected. He was honored in 1995 the Washington State Cross Country Coaches Association by being inducted into the state Cross Country Hall of Fame.
From 1973 to 2002, Gary was the track and field coach at Castle Rock High School. During that time, his program became one of the most successful in the state. His teams won four state championship titles, placed second twice and third four times. Castle Rock teams under coach Swanson won thirteen district titles and produced thirty-one individual state champions. Seventeen athletes moved on to NCAA Division I programs and four became All-Americans. Gary’s influence is perhaps best demonstrated by the eleven former athletes who have become high school track and field coaches. Statistical records are forever etched in the record books of our sport but inspiring athletes in a way that leads them to go into the coaching profession is something very special.
Besides being an incredibly successful track and field coach, Gary has been a consistent contributor to the sport. For ten years, he served as the director of track for Junior Olympics. He served ten years as the WIAA District #4 meet director. In 2002, Gary retired because of health concerns and that brought an end to the remarkable career we recognize today. It is with great honor that we recognize his achievement and welcome him into the Washington State Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame.