July 10, 2014

A lasting legacy

Dalton High School’s swimming and diving team gets overlooked a bit because of the big-name sports like football and basketball, or the other state title-winning program, boys soccer.

Yet, when you think about everything coach Charles Todd has done to grow this area’s swimming scene, it’s truly remarkable.

For 17 years, Todd has been the Carpet Capital Aquatic Club (CCAC) director. For 16 years, he’s been the Dalton High School swimming and diving coach. He’s won 10 straight region championships and helped bring home the 2012-2013 Georgia High School Association Class A-5A state championship.

Todd recently accepted a position in Atlanta as director of the Chattahoochee Gold Swim Club, a year-round USA Swimming program. He’ll take over the metro Atlanta-area team on Monday.

Whether it’s the championships or the growth in interest in swimming, Todd has had a profound impact on making the sport into something of note in northwest Georgia.

When he became the Dalton High coach, there weren’t many swimming programs at high schools in this area. Calhoun, Coahulla Creek, Northwest Whitfield and Southeast Whitfield all have teams now, and all use Dalton High’s pool, with Todd finding a way to give all of the teams a practice schedule.

The CCAC is now 130 swimmers strong, and Dalton High’s program has close to 80 swimmers. When Todd started at those programs, there wasn’t a middle school team as there is now and the high school program included around 40 swimmers.

This area is now consistently producing top-notch swimmers at the state level — and even the national level, such as Taylor Dale and Ethan Young — and much of their success is due to Todd’s efforts.

Swimming is much more important in Dalton and Whitfield County — on both the club and high school levels — than it was 17 years ago, and Todd deserves much of the credit.

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