Steven E. Schofield
Steven E. Schofield Aquatic Center
Steven E. Schofield is considered by many to be the "grandfather of swimming" in the San Fernando Valley, having taught at least 15,000 children swimming and water safety. Through his tireless direct promotion of all types of aquatic activity, he made a profound impact on the spirit and health of both young and old citizens.
With more than 50 years of service, Schofield has been recognized regionally and nationally for his unselfish dedication to the sport of swimming.
An All-American Masters Swimmer, he could be found lap swimming daily at the Pierce College swimming pool. According to Head Swim Coach Fred Shaw, Schofield is the primary reason that Pierce College continues to have the reputation as one of the finest swimming facilities in Southern California.
The swimming facility at Pierce College was built in 1978, a ten lane, 25-yard by 25-meter competition pool holding 348,000 gallons of water. In the early 1990s financial hardship at the college threatened to close down the pool. But today the aquatic center is home to a modernized, outfitted competition pool and a second community-driven six-lane, 25-yard wellness pool.
Many of the improvements can be traced to financial contributions that Schofield made for the Pierce College pool as a co-founder of Friends of Pierce Pool (1991). Established primarily to defray college expenses for essential pool equipment, Friends has raised tens of thousands of dollars during its existence primarily by swim-a-thons and direct-mail fundraising. After the Northridge Earthquake in 1994, it was Schofield and Friends of Pierce Pool who coaxed the National Plasterers Council to donate $40,000 worth of materials and labor to resurface the entire pool.
Over the years, the pool facility has supported the activities of Pierce College swimming, diving and water polo teams, hosted activities, and served as a training and competition facility for various schools of the LAUSD, private high schools, the YMCA, club teams, and a variety of other community groups.
In a letter to request that the Pierce Pool be dedicated to Schofield, one swimmer wrote:
"It is entirely reasonable to say that without Steve, the pool at Pierce would be, at best, an empty hole in the ground. Instead, it's a thriving place. A place of meeting and a place of learning. A place where six-year-olds put their faces in the water for the first time and take their first tentative strokes down the lane. Where age groupers and high school students push themselves to meet their goals: a personal best, a scholarship, or just a smile and a 'job well done' from mom and dad. And where the tax-paying baby boomers that make up Southwest Aquatic Masters remind themselves that keeping their blood pressure down and the cholesterol low can be a gallon of fun."
Here is a select list of Steve Schofield's accomplishments:
* Founder of four swim schools
* Taught 15,000 San Fernando Valley youth how to swim
* Math teacher and swim coach at Cleveland High School (1961-2001)
* Adjunct professor at Los Angeles Valley College
* 2002 Dorothy Donnelly Service Award for U.S. Masters Swimming
* 2006 Southern Pacific Masters Distinguished Service Award
* Founding member and Chairman of Southern Pacific U.S. Masters Swimming
* Founding member of the Masters Aquatics Coaches Association
* Chairman of National Coaches Committee, U.S. Masters Swimming
* Meet Director of the Annual Turkey Shoot Swim Meet at Pierce College
* Coordinator of the Annual Swim-a-thon to generate funds for Friends of Pierce Pool
* Volunteer timing coordinator for community college and high school swim meets
* Director, City Section High School Diving Championships at Pierce College
Among his personal recognitions as a swimmer:
* Top 10 Age Group Distance Swimmer in the 800 and 1500 meter freestyle (age 60-65)
* 5-Time Long Distance Swimming All-American
Steven E. Schofield passed away July 18, 2007, after having valiantly fought a battle with cancer since 1964. Two hundred and fifty people from Pierce attended his memorial service.
In recognition of his extraordinary contributions, the Pierce Pool was renamed in his honor.
The Steven E. Schofield Aquatic Center was unveiled Sunday, October 21, 2007, by Friends of Pierce Pool before a swimming clinic coached by 14 professional-class swimmers, including Olympic-class swimmers Tamas Kerekjarto and Ous Mellouli.
This deserving attribution of his name to this pool reflects the aquatics community's appreciation for his unwavering commitment to the sport and his magical ability to inspire enthusiasm as the premier ambassador of swimming at Pierce College.
The resolution to name the Steven E. Schofield Aquatic Center was approved by the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees on 10/3/2007.
The college held a swimming event at the center in his honor on 10/21/2007.
The plaque mounted on a pedestal at the Olympic Drive entrance reads:
Steven E. Schofield Aquatic Center
Dedicated to the memory of Steve Schofield esteemed teacher and loyal friend to swimmers in the San Fernando Valley for over 50 years. October 21, 2007.