by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce
The to-do list of Congressional investigators of USA Swimming’s historical and ongoing sex abuse and cover-up scandals is a long one. Last week geriatric legend Mitch Ivey got banned, as if that solves anything. Here’s an excellent account today in the San Jose Mercury News: http://www.mercurynews.com/sports/ci_24604608/mitch-ivey-famed-swim-coach-banned-sexual-misconduct.
As we have been reporting, bad stuff has happened everywhere, on a disturbing scale, for decades: Missouri, Alaska, Washington State, Arizona. There are some especially bad cells: Mission Viejo, California; Colorado; Indiana; Florida; D.C.-Virginia-Maryland. And one of the worst and most rooted is the South Bay Area, around San Jose, where Ivey started plying his wares with the Santa Clara Swim Club. It was also in that star-crossed region that convicted pedophile Andy King, now permanently locked away in state prison, damaged the lives of dozens, scores, maybe hundreds of the girls he coached; the prosecutor told the jury that King was a “monster,” and the word was never better applied.
Today we introduce another name: Don Jacklin. Except for his involvement with that familiar landing pad, U.S. Masters Swimming, Jacklin has been out of the game for a long time. Yet he, too, left an imprint on the South Bay through his tenure with the De Anza Swim Club in Cupertino.
The reason Jacklin moved from Oregon to California in 1976 is yet another grim and long-buried legacy. At David Douglas High School and its associated club in Portland, he had just coached his star swimmer, Kim Peyton, to the Olympic team; she won a freestyle relay gold medal in Montreal. But in October of the same year, allegations arose that Jacklin had molested another David Douglas swimmer. Jacklin abruptly resigned and took the De Anza job. Later, several of the female Douglas swimmers who had defended Jacklin admitted that the accusations were true, and indeed that they, themselves, had been abuse victims, too.
(Kim Peyton went on to swim at Stanford. She died of cancer in 1986. It is not clear whether she was or ever claimed to have been abused by Jacklin.)
At De Anza, according to swimming sources, Jacklin attracted a number of athletes whose parents checked them out of Santa Clara after getting smart to the predatory ways of Mitch Ivey.
Jacklin coached only a few years at De Anza. He returned to Portland and opened a travel business. He is now in his late 70’s. So far we have been unable to locate him.