Wally Morton was the epitome of that quality during his 39-year tenure in the Physical Education Department at Cleveland State University as the men’s and women’s swimming coach. He coached the Vikings to 20 conference titles during 46 winning seasons, totaling a school-record 387 dual meet victories.
After graduation from Miami University (Ohio) in 1970, where he was a member of two Mid-American Conference championship swimming teams, Morton came to CSU in 1974 and served seven years under legendary CSU coach Bob Busbey. He was named head men’s coach in 1981 and women’s head coach in 2007.
His teams won 14 Penn-Ohio, two Midwestern Collegiate Conference and two Horizon League championships. He was named conference coach of the year nine times. At the time of his retirement in June 2014, his swimmers held 11 men and six women league titles.
He guided five swimmers and one diver to the NCAA championships and three to Olympic qualifiers, with Nedim Nisic representing Bosnia at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
The men’s team earned 47 Mid-Major All-American Awards from the College Swimming Coaches Association. Â He women’s team received 17 Mid-Major honors.
Both teams have received the Scholar All-American Award a combined 57 times, with 27 earning Academic All-American laurels.
But all those numbers pale in comparison to Morton’s tireless hours spent helping Northeast Ohio’s high school and club swimming teams. As Aquatics Director, he was always generous in making the quality CSU facilities available to athletes and coaches for practices and high-caliber meets.
He lives in Strongsville with his wife, Carol. They have a son, Rob.