Paul Arthur Savage, passed away peacefully on October 23, 2002 after 6-1/2 years of a courageous struggle with cancer. Paul will be watching over his wife, assistant coach and best friend Margaret Savage, adopted daughter Iva Zagar, foster son Marko Zagar, brother Anthony Savage, sister Maggie Savage, his large family of Clan swimmers and many friends. Coach Savage was Simon Fraser University’s first swimming coach.
During his two decades as head coach, the Clan won 10 men’s and 3 women’s NAIA national championships. Thirty of his swimmers qualified to represent their country in international competition – five of them earned medals – gold, silver, bronze – Olympic, Pan American, Commonwealth and World Student Games. Paul was five times NAIA national coach of the year. He had extensive international experience: National Team Manager, FISU Games, 1987; Canadian Team Assistant Coach FISU Games, 1983; Head Coach and Manager, International Meet, England, 1978, 77, 71; Head Coach and Manager Youth Team Sweden, 1973; Head Coach World Student Games, Bulgaria, 1977; Assistant Men’s Swim Coach World Championships Berlin, Commonwealth Games Edmonton, Canada vs. Soviet Union Dual Meet, Toronto, 1977.
Coach Savage was a kind, caring person who inspired and encouraged everyone to be the very best they could be. He left us gifts of love, dedication to hard work, honesty, integrity and humor. For Paul the true measure of success was in the achievements – in the pool and in life – of the athletes for whom he was coach, counselor and mentor. We will all remember “Big Bird” with his red whistle and shorts.