Smithtown resident and former Stony Brook University swimming and diving coach Dave Alexander died Thursday after a long battle against cancer. He was 62 years old.
Alexander was the founder of the university’s women’s swimming and diving program in 1979, and became the head coach position for both the men’s and women’s teams in 1995. There were more than 100 All-Conference swimmers, four All-Americans and over 20 NCAA Championship qualifiers under Alexander’s tenure as head coach. Alexander was also a the Metropolitan Conference Coach of the Year award recipient (1991, 1996, and 1998, was named America East Coach of the Year in 2006, and led the men’s team to the Metropolitan Conference Championship title in 1998.
“We lost a treasured member of our family today,” Stony Brook Director of Athletics Jim Fiore said in a statement Thursday. “Coach Alexander was an exceptional mentor and educator for literally thousands of Stony Brook student-athletes during his 32-year tenure. Dave’s greatest impact stretched well beyond the pool, as he touched the lives of so many as a coach, friend, colleague and ambassador for our institution.”
John DeMarie, the men’s coach until 1995 when Alexander took over, said his friendship with the late coach extended beyond the pool.
“Dave was always available to any of his swimmers who needed some time and good advice on any matter affecting their lives,” he said. “He was always patient and understanding. I will miss him more than words can tell, as will so many others whose lives he has touched so positively.”
Viewing services are scheduled for this Saturday from 7-9 p.m., and Sunday from 2-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., at Nolan & Taylor-Howe Funeral Home, located at 5 Laurel Avenue in Northport. The Funeral Mass will take place Monday at 11 a.m. at St. Phillip Neri Parish, located at 15 Prospect Avenue in Northport. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations can be made to the Stony Brook men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams.