Former Illini Joe Hunsaker Passes Away at 74
March 13, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Fighting Illini men's swimming legend Joe Hunsaker passed away on Mar. 11 at the age of 74. Hunsaker was a two-time national champion and world record holder. The St. Louis native won an NCAA championship in the 200 yard individual medley in 1958 as a junior with Illinois before winning a title in the event at the National AAU Championships the following year. In December 1958, Hunsaker set the world record in the 200 meter individual medley at the East West Collegiate Swimming Meet held in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Hunsaker served in the United States Army as a company commander. After his tour of duty, he returned to St. Louis and founded Midwest Pool Management. In 1970, Hunsaker joined forces with former mentor and swim coach legend James E. "Doc" Councilman, PhD to create Councilman-Hunsaker & Associates, a consulting firm of international-class swimming pools. Some of the firm's most prestigious projects include the 1996 Olympic Games, the 1994 Commonwealth Games, the 1994 World University Games and the 1998 Goodwill Games, in addition to the Pentagon-US military headquarters, the Nike World Campus pools, the Indianapolis Natatorium and numerous educational facilities.
Hunsaker also served as a board member of the National Swimming Pool Foundation, president of the National Swim and Recreation Association, a board member of the International Swimming Hall Of Fame, a board member of the Internationale Academie fur Baderbauten und Freizeit Hallen, (Germany) and the Chairman of the Public Pool Council of the National Spa and Pool Institute.
On March 2, 2012, Hunsaker received the 2012 International Swimming Hall of Fame Paragon Award for outstanding contributions to recreational swimming. The award will be presented on May 11, 2012 at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
He is survived by his wife, Charmaine, three children, their mother, Sandra McCarroll Hunsaker, two grandchildren and several step-family members.