DLS Swim & Dive Celebrates 70 Years


What’s an anniversary you don’t hear about too often? This season will mark the 70th year of swim at De La Salle Collegiate!

Coach Jim Singelyn, ’90, took over the swim program and has been its coach since fall 2009 when he returned to Michigan from Florida to help out his parents. 

He has been an avid swimmer since age 6, including his four years at DLS, where he was a multiple All State and All American. “It seems like I've always been at the pool,” recalled Singelyn, who also works a dual role at DLS as a social studies teacher.

Swimming is different than most other sports, he said, because “you are trying to move your body through an element that it isn't designed to go through. Anyone can run, jump, kick, throw, catch, etc., but not everyone can swim.”

He and his coaching assistant, Brad Robinson, who also teaches social studies at DLS, are always on the lookout for young men with a strong work ethic to join the team. 

We take anyone and everyone,” stressed Singelyn. “All they need is work ethic and drive to see how great they can be! 

Over the years I've had plenty of guys come out who never swam competitively and by the time they were upperclassmen, they became All State,” he continued. 

PJ Desmet, ’16, has many fond memories of Singelyn and being on the team, one of which was the swim team’s progress from his freshman year to senior year. “We went from barely winning county meet to state runners-up which was amazing,” he said.  

Desmet laughed when he recalled one of his favorite moments with Singelyn. “He was yelling at us in one of the locker rooms during county meet because we were underperforming,” he said. “For county meet, multiple teams use the same locker room and (Coach) Jim thought the locker room was empty besides our team. 

During his rant, we heard a toilet flush, and out walks a kid from another team and completely ruined his flow.”

Senior Nate Tempest, '24, who has swum for DLS since he was a freshman, has some things he wants to achieve for his last season: “My personal goals are to qualify for county meet and to improve my personal times,” he said. “My goals for the team are that we become a close-knit team and support one another, and as a whole, that we are competitive during the season and WIN the county meet!” 

The work ethic that is so important for the team – which typically includes 30-40 boys – comes into play as they practice six days a week.


Tempest doesn’t mind, though, especially because he enjoys having Singelyn and Robinson as his coaches. “They each offer different approaches to coaching,” he said. “They are both easy-going and funny, but when it comes time to put in the work they are serious.”  

Desmet also had wise words to share with Tempest and his teammates. “My advice is to just be respectful and cool with each other,” he said, “You guys spend more time with each other than your own family, so get to learn about each other … and even if you have differences, just do not be rude to each other.”

The 2023-24 season promises to be a special one, both Singelyn and Robinson said. 

Singelyn said, “Since it was the 70th year, we wanted to do something special.” So came the idea for an alumni swim meet and reception.

Swim Team

We wanted to do something big to honor our past teams and alumni on those teams,” Robinson added. As a result, the Kurtis White Alumni Swim Meet will be held at 6 p.m. at Warren Woods Tower, followed by a reception at DLS, on Dec. 22. 

The meet is named in memory of Kurtis White, '15, who passed away a couple of years ago. “He was a great guy, a total team guy, and everyone loved him,” Singelyn said.

For more information, call Brad Robinson at (586) 541-6446 or email him at brobinson@delasallehs.com.

DLS Swim & Dive Celebrates 70 Years
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