July 22, 2020

Ames CSD Mourns the Passing of Ames High Teacher and Coach Dan Flannery

Dan Flannery

Ames CSD Mourns the Passing of Ames High Teacher and Coach Dan Flannery

The Ames Community School District family and community mourns the passing of longtime Ames High teacher and storied Ames High Swim Coach Dan Flannery, who passed away Tuesday morning. 

“Dan was Ames High Pride. He loved our students, our high school, and our community. This is a huge loss for not only our school community, but the swimming community in Ames and across Iowa,” said Superintendent Jenny Risner. “Dan was committed to excellence in his program and his success speaks for itself. But what was even more impressive was his ability to build strong relationships with his student-athletes that lasted well beyond high school. He made those he coached better athletes and better people.”

As an Ames High teacher, Flannery worked with students in the Alternative Learning Program and saw every student’s potential. Students loved him. He was calm, compassionate, and his ability to establish meaningful relationships with his students was one of the leading reasons why he made such a positive impact on the students who needed him the most. 

Flannery’s resume as a swimming and diving coach is unrivaled in the state of Iowa. Flannery has been the head girls swimming and diving coach at Ames High since 2002 and has been leading the boys’ program since 1998. Since being named the head girls coach, Ames’ varsity dual meet record is 140-11-1. In the last ten years, the Little Cyclones have won eight team state championships, which ranks second on Iowa’s all-time list. Over the last 11 years, 121 of his swimmers have earned NISCA all-American honors, 19 swimmers have won an individual state title, and 18 state records have been broken by an Ames swimmer. Ames became only the third school in Iowa history to win the girls swimming and boys swimming team titles in the same academic year (2018) when Flannery guided Ames High to their first boys championship since 1982. 

In 2018, Flannery was named the recipient of the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union’s Golden Plaque of Distinction Award. Flannery was honored before the start of the Iowa Girls State Swimming Finals.

“Dan has an incredible passion for Ames High and built our swim program into something magical. I am incredibly saddened for his wife, children, and family, and our Ames High community” said Ames High Athletic Director Judge Johnston. “His passing creates an incredible void across the swim community that will be felt for a long time. He was an incredible coach, but more importantly, an amazing person.” 


Message from Superintendent Risner:

It is with great sadness that I am sending this message to all of our Ames Community School District family. Today, Dan Flannery, our Ames High Swim Coach, educator, and friend passed away. Our hearts are broken tonight and we grieve along with his family and all who knew and loved him. 

I understand how difficult this loss is and want each of you to know that we have assembled a team of counselors, therapists, and licensed mental health providers ready to help anyone who may need support through this incredible loss. If you or someone you know, needs to speak with someone, please contact Brian Carico at brian.carico@ames.k12.ia.us. We will also be having counselors available at Ames High School on Wednesday, July 22 starting at 10:00-11:30 a.m. and 4:00-5:30 p.m.