First Name: David
Last Name: Fry
Sport: Swimming
Inductee Type: Builder
Year Inducted: 2016
Home Town: Halifax
County: Halifax County

David Fry has left a legacy of inspiration on the sport of swimming in Nova Scotia, and his contributions to the sport can be seen at the national and international level. The extraordinary success of his 40 plus years of dedication as a coach, administrator, and educator is evidenced by his series of championship titles, the individual successes of his swimmers, and numerous Coach of The Year honours.

Fry’s powerful impact can be measured more strongly in the legacy of his commitment, enthusiasm, humility, drive, and passion he instilled in each of his swimmers. He recognized the importance of caring for both the individual and the athlete, and how to use swimming to make a person great.

As a varsity athlete himself, Fry swam for the Axemen during his undergraduate studies at Acadia. He started coaching with the Wolfville Tritons Swim Club and then upon graduation in 1972, he took a position with the Dartmouth Crusaders. He dedicated 12 years to develop this recreational swim club to one of national calibre. Growing the Crusaders became his passion and he found genuine joy in the individual improvement of each of his swimmers, including Hall of Famer Marie Moore who made it on the Olympic team in 1984.

In 1985 Fry became the assistant coach of the Dalhousie Tigers, and in 1999 he assumed the position of Head Coach, taking over from fellow inductee Nigel Kemp and thus beginning a 16-year long series of successes. In 1999 and 2000, Fry’s teams won the men’s and women’s AUAA titles; the second time this had happened in Dalhousie history; the first time being in 1988 when Fry was acting as the Interim Head Coach of the Tigers.

The year 2002 saw the Tigers have 21 Swimmers qualify for CIS in Victoria, B.C. the most the Tigers have ever had qualify. The men’s and women’s teams then went on to win all AUS meets. In 2004, David acted as swim coach for Bermuda, taking Dal swimmer Kiera Aitken to the Olympics in Athens and marching in the opening ceremonies.

During his Dalhousie tenure, Fry established a near perfect record of winning, with a total of 30 out of a possible 32 AUS Championship banners. He saw the Tigers to over 20 podium finishes at CIS Championships, and coached David Sharpe to the 2012 Olympic Team. His technique transformed individual swimming into a team sport. His love of people and ability to see the best in others is something that set his coaching style apart from the rest.

Fry always had the best interests of the swimmers and coaches at heart, and dedicated time improving the sport outside the water. In 1995 he partnered with Hall of Fame inductee Virginia Smith to conduct research on gender equity in swimming for the Canadian Association of the Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity, which focused on the treatment of athletes and coaches.

Fry served on various swim boards, such as the board of Swim Nova Scotia, and was a welcome addition to the administration side of the sport. He sat on the Board of Directors for Swimming Canada and most recently he was a board member with the Canadian Swim Coaches and Teacher’s Association, where he was Chair of their Ethics Committee, ensuring that coaches across the country were professionals coaching at the highest level.

Fry has received abundant honours for coaching in recognition of his extraordinary accomplishments. He won Dalhousie Coach of the Year a record five times, AUS Coach of the Year 11 times for both men’s and women’s swimming, CIS Coach of the year two times (2003 for women’s and 2007 for men’s), and was twice selected as Swim Nova Scotia Coach of the Year.

It is evident from his illustrious career that Fry was successful in achieving his goals, as well as helping his athletes achieve theirs in the pool and in life. He passed away in 2015.

*This biography was excerpted from the induction program article by Kaitlynne Lowe*


• Swim coach for over 40 years in Nova Scotia
• Coached David Sharpe to the Olympics, 2012
• Coached Kiera Aitken to the Olympics, 2004
• Coached Marie Moore to the Olympics, 1984
• Head Coach of Dartmouth Crusaders for 12 years
• Head coach with Dalhousie University 13 years
• Dalhousie Varsity Coach of the Year 5 times
• Head Coach of NS Canada Games team: 1977, ’81, ’97
• Learning Facilitator, Swimming Canada for 16 years
• Can Uni Swimming Coach of the Year, 2003 & ’07