The Lederhouse Legacy
STEP ONTO THE POOL DECK during swim team practice and you’ll see there’s something special about Wheaton’s program. Wheaton swimming has won 49 CCIW Championships and numerous other NCAA Division III accolades under 41 years of leadership from head coach Jon Lederhouse ’74.
While the accomplishments during his tenure are unparalleled, the team culture goes beyond success in the pool. Lederhouse fostered a Christ-centered program that encourages athletes to be “free to swim,” a motto that developed in the 1980s. Lederhouse says, “‘Free to swim’ gives the team a proper perspective on the sport and their involvement in a way that honors Christ.”
“Lederhouse trained us to be the best swimmers we could be, reminding us we were using our talents, given to us by God, to bring glory to God,” says Linda Chambers Long ’86, who has seen two of her daughters, Chelsey ’14 and Mallory ’20, follow in her footsteps and swim for Lederhouse.
Chelsey remembers a similar culture. “Everything we did, we wanted to do it for the glory of God. This shaped my swimming career, but is something I’ve carried with me after graduating.” Though Lederhouse prepares for retirement at the end of the 2017 academic year—along with his former coach, Assistant Coach Don Holwerda ’69, who will retire after 37 years—his impact on the program and more than 600 alumni will be felt for generations to come.
“Coach Lederhouse represents the very best of Wheaton athletics,” says Director of Athletics Julie Schmela Davis ’91. “His love and care for his students as whole persons and the way he uses competitive swimming to develop young people is inspiring.”
In honor of Coach Lederhouse’s legacy, the Chrouser Natatorium will be renamed the Jonathan Lederhouse Natatorium in August 2017. The Sports and Recreation Complex will become the Chrouser Sports Complex to honor Harvey Chrouser ’34.