On Monday, August 3, I spoke before the Ames Community School Board, urging the directors to consider naming Ames High School’s new pool after the late Coach Dan Flannery. During this meeting, I was pleased to learn Ames Superintendent Jenny Risner supports naming the pool in Coach Flannery's honor. She shared in her statement her intentions to submit a formal recommendation to the Board at a future meeting. I'm grateful for Board President Alisa Frandsen's invitation to speak on this important action. You can read my speech in full below. We're not done yet, but we're making progress in memorializing Dan's legacy.
My name is Maddie Bro and I'm a former Ames High School swimmer from 2008-2012 and team captain of the 2011 State Championship Team coached by Dan Flannery. I want to share the following letter I submitted to the Board to remember Dan. Thank you to the Board for allowing me time to speak today. A special thank you to the Ames Tribune for publishing my guest column on the topic as well. And it goes...
“Swim with a Purpose. Dive with a Purpose. Win with a Purpose.”
This mantra was coined by the late Dan Flannery, head coach of Ames High School Swimming & Diving for two decades. This motto inspired hundreds, if not thousands, of his young athletes, including myself, to set and achieve lofty goals and carry ourselves with confidence both in the pool and classroom.
This brings us to the purpose of this letter. Today, I write to show my full support for naming Ames High School’s new pool after the late Coach Dan Flannery. I urge the Ames Community School Board to consider this important action to honor the life of Coach Flannery, a man who was a beacon of positivity and integrity in the Ames community and tireless advocate for this pool’s construction.
Coach Flannery was the most motivational coach I worked with in my 13-year competitive swimming career, inclusive of four years as a Division I NCAA swimmer at the University of Iowa. He emphasized the importance of mental preparation in addition to physical conditioning. His holistic coaching translated to countless victories, making Coach Flannery one of the most successful coaches in Iowa high school history. In the last decade, he guided the Ames High Girls Swimming & Diving teams to 8 of 10 state championships and was undefeated in all dual meets. I was a member of Ames High’s first two state championship teams in 2010 and 2011, serving as team captain in 2011. Coach Flannery effectively prepared his athletes for collegiate swimming as well, sending many, including myself, to Division I, II, and III programs, helping us secure scholarships to cover the high cost of college education.
A team is greater than the sum of its parts. However, without Coach Flannery’s leadership, I whole-heartedly believe the Ames High Girls Swimming & Diving dynasty would not have come to fruition.
Coach Flannery passed away in July 2020. The tragedy here is that he will never be able to coach in the pool he fought so hard to build. He will never again be able to inspire young minds to “Aim High” in everything they do. Naming the new pool after Coach Dan Flannery is the perfect way to memorialize his legacy in the Ames community. So, in the words of Coach Flannery, let’s name this pool with a purpose. Let’s name it after Dan.
I thank the Board for its consideration of this important action.
Ames High School, Class of 2012
Hall of Fame Inductee, Iowa High School Swimming
Team Captain, 2011 State Championship Team, Ames High Girls’ Swimming
Team Member, 2010 State Championship Team, Ames High Girls’ Swimming
4-time High School All-American, Girls’ Swimming
10-time Iowa High School State Champion, Girls’ Swimming
3-time Iowa High School State Record Holder, Girls’ Swimming