Jack Bauerle

Jack Bauerle (Photo/Julian Alexander)

A record-setting swimmer for UGA in the 1970s, Bauerle, now swimming and diving head coach, has led the Georgia men and women to team and individual NCAA and SEC championships. He’s also coached U.S. swimmers during several Olympic Games.

How have UGA and Athens changed over the years?

I’ve seen a wholesale change. I wouldn’t say it’s a 180, but it’s pretty close, starting with the buildings and facilities — not just for swimming. I’ve seen a lot of changes in the town. When I was first here, the last thing out on Atlanta Highway was the Howard Johnson’s. We didn’t really have good places to eat. Then the music scene hit. I’ve watched the place grow up, but to me it’s still kept the feel of Athens, which is great.

What is your favorite campus spot?

I love North Campus. I spent most of my time there — at Park Hall. I also think it’s the prettiest part of campus. I love the art museum. When I was in high school I had an absolute passion for art and traveled to Italy.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in Athens?

For lunch and breakfast I love Big City Bread because I love eating outside. I’ll still visit The Varsity four or five times a year no matter what. I love ADD Drug Store. I’ll usually get a cheese slaw dog and fries. They have the old-time machines for the shakes, so I’ll get a vanilla shake. They use Breyers, which is great.

What do you love about Athens?

Being around a university town and having some of my best friends as professors, it opens up other worlds for me. Because they’re so accomplished and so intelligent and you can’t help but learn from people you’re around. And the thing I think I really truly love about Athens is some of the most accomplished people here are just absolutely humble.

This article originally appeared in the spring 2019 Visitors Guide

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