James "Jim" M. Wood

Jan 4, 2019

Visitation

Monday, Jan. 21, 2019 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM

Paul Ippolito Berkeley Memorial

646 Springfield Avenue, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922

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Add to My Calendar 01/21/2019 02:00 pm 01/21/2019 05:00 pm America/New_York James "Jim" M. Wood - Visitation

Jim Wood, founder of Berkeley Aquatics and a life-long swim coach, passed away on January 4th at the age of 68. His poolside career started during high school summers at the New Providence Community Pool, continued as an assistant swim coach during his college years at Johns Hopkins, and later as Coach at the University of North Carolina while he studied in graduate school.

In 1977, he ...

646 Springfield Avenue, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922

Service

Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Our Lady of Peace Church

South Street, New Providence, NJ 07974

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Add to My Calendar 01/22/2019 10:00 am 01/22/2019 11:00 am America/New_York James "Jim" M. Wood - Service

Jim Wood, founder of Berkeley Aquatics and a life-long swim coach, passed away on January 4th at the age of 68. His poolside career started during high school summers at the New Providence Community Pool, continued as an assistant swim coach during his college years at Johns Hopkins, and later as Coach at the University of North Carolina while he studied in graduate school.

In 1977, he ...

South Street, New Providence, NJ 07974

Jim Wood, founder of Berkeley Aquatics and a life-long swim coach, passed away on January 4th at the age of 68. His poolside career started during high school summers at the New Providence Community Pool, continued as an assistant swim coach during his college years at Johns Hopkins, and later as Coach at the University of North Carolina while he studied in graduate school.  

In 1977, he returned to his home town of New Providence, and founded BAC in nearby Berkeley Heights. His dream aquatic center, the second BAC location in New Providence, opened in 2015. Thousands of local kids (and some of their parents) have learned to swim in these pools. But Jim’s biggest passion had always been coaching competitive swimmers, with the understanding that good coaching can develop young athletes in ways beyond swimming faster.  

His BAC athletes won many state championships, held first place national rankings, and medaled at every major international competition, including the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Many of his swimmers earned High School All American Honors, and he was very proud that all of his seniors continued their educations at four year colleges. 

His entry into national swimming responsibilities was as chairman of USA Swimming’s Time Standards Committee. He was chairman of the USA Swimming Olympic International Operations Committee from 1992 to 2004, and a member of the USA Swimming delegation to the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. In 2006, he was elected to become president of USA Swimming - the first Coach to hold that position. In 2010, he was elected to serve as president of United States Aquatic Sports. He was inducted into the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame in the following year. In 2015, he was voted as one of the “30 most Influential People in Swimming Over the Past 30 Years”.  

At the time of his death, he was chairman of the USA Swimming Steering Committee, a member of the USA Swimming Board of Directors, and a member of the USA Swimming Foundation.  

Jim was predeceased by his parents, and is survived by his siblings Terry Commodore and Bob Wood, as well as nieces and nephew Katie Commodore, James Commodore, Jennifer Hudson, and Melissa Russo, along with a large extended family and innumerable friends. 

Bob and Terry particularly want to thank the Parents Club at Berkeley Aquatic for their support and love, and the delicious dinners they provided. We also want to thank the Center for Hope hospice house in Scotch Plains for the extraordinary care they gave to Jim, and the amazing love and support they gave his siblings. They all made a difficult time much easier for us, and we will be forever grateful. 

Family and friends are invited to attend the Memorial Visitation on Monday, January 21, 2019 from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Paul Ippolito Berkeley Memorial 646 Springfield Avenue, Berkeley Heights, NJ. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. in Our Lady of Peace Church, South St., New Providence on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. 

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider donations in Jim’s name to the Berkeley Aquatic Club or the Blue Streak Aquatics both located at 629 Central Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974 or to the Center for Hope Hospice 1900 Raritan Rd., Scotch Plains, NJ  07076 or at www.cfhh.org

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