COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - One Midlands man has been making a splash in the world of swimming for more than 35 years. Coach Stanley McIntosh's dedication to the sport and to local youth led one of his own swimmers to nominate him as a WIS Community Builder in partnership with Mungo Homes.
"He's done so much for the team, and he has such a big heart for swimming, he was just fit for it," said Adriane Belton, who nominated McIntosh. "I just had to do it."
Belton is one of more than 20 swimmers who participate in the winter swimming season with the Greenview Dolphins at Columbia's Drew Wellness Center.
Coach Stanley started coaching the Greenview Dolphins USA swim team in 1977, and he hasn't come up for air since.
"It was just a summer swim team up until the Drew Wellness Center was built in 2006, and then with access we became a year-round swim team," Stanley said. "We instill in our children anything is possible with hard work, and we push them pretty hard."
Stanley works another job so many of his hours are volunteer.
"This is really a 40-hour job, but they can't afford a full-time coach so I volunteer a tremendous amount of my time," Stanley said. "There's a lot of paperwork that goes along with coaching a USA swim team."
But his efforts and his heart for his swimmers haven't gone unnoticed. Belton and her fellow swimmers say Coach Stanley is one-of-a-kind.
"[He's] spiritual, passionate, loving, caring, would do anything for you," Belton said. "He has a heart of gold. He's everything that you would look for in a coach or in a person to take care of your child while you're not there."
WIS and Mungo Homes surprised Stanley at one of the team's recent practices.
"We've heard of you up at Mungo Homes and all the great things you're doing here at the Drew Wellness Center," said Mary Mungo. "So we're here to let you know that you're this week's Community Builder, and we're going to donate $1,000 to the charity of your choice through the Michael J. Mungo Foundation.
With Stanley left speechless, his swimmers were standing by to cheer him on, returning the favor for what he does for them every day.