Tributes to Longtime Coach Rich Swift

An NCS commissioner writes a tribute for the Newark Memorial High School coach and teacher who passed away Feb. 13

Written by NCS Commissioner Gil Lemmon, Submitted by Tim Hess

Longtime Newark Memorial Athletic Director and football coach Rich Swift passed away, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, eight days after learning he had an inoperable brain tumor. 

Mr. Swift grew up in Fremont, attending Mission San Jose High School, where he was an outstanding football player and wrestler. 

While in high school Mr. Swift was a two-time NCS Wrestling Champion.  Swift started his coaching career at Kennedy High School in 1974, moving to Newark High School in 1977 and continuing at Newark Memorial High School in 1983 when Newark and Memorial High Schools merged. 

California Hall of Fame football coach and former Kennedy High School coach Pete Michaletos was quoted in an online Bay Area News Group article saying “He was a great coach, a great A.D., and just a great human being.  He always put people first and always put himself second.” 

For the last eight years Mr. Swift has been the tournament director of the NCS Boys Individual Wrestling Championships hosted at Newark Memorial High School.

Mr. Swift was a dedicated math teacher for 35 years and high school coach for 38. Coach Swift was one of the first teachers at school early in the morning and last to leave in the evening. His service to high school educational athletics was invaluable and his loss is immeasurable.  God bless this fine man!

Editor's Note: The memorial service for Rich Swift is scheduled for March 10 at 2 p.m. at Newark Memorial High School's Events Center. Newark Memorial is located at 39375 Cedar Blvd. in Newark.


  • Coach Swift Remembered Fondly; Memorial Service Planned for March 10

Have photos and memories of Coach Swift you want to share? Add them to the gallery above.

Daniel DelGreco February 16, 2013 at 12:37 AM
The Newark and Memorial High School sports programs merged and the first NM Cougars Football team was fielded in Fall, 1981. The two high schools merged in the Fall of 1982. The paragraph should read "Continuing at NM High School in 1981, when the sports programs merged" - Daniel DelGreco, Original Cougar


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something