Swimming & Diving
MSU Mourns Loss Of Munley
May 1, 2001
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State swimmer John Munley (Kalamazoo, Mich.) died Monday (April 30) after collapsing during a morning jog near the MSU campus. He was 22.
According to the East Lansing Police Department, the incident occurred at approximately 11:30 a.m. in the 300 block of North Harrison Ave. Paramedics attempted to resuscitate Munley and immediately transported him to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. He was pronounced dead shortly after noon. The cause of death is unknown at this time.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Munley family," said Athletics Director Clarence Underwood. "This is a tragedy for the entire Spartan family. As we grieve, we remember a student-athlete who did more than set MSU records. He represented his alma mater with pride and class."
Munley, a four-year letterwinner, was named the school's Most Valuable Men's Swimmer in 1999 and 2000. He qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 200, 400 and 1650 freestyles in 2001. The holder of MSU's school record in the 200 free, Munley posted four top-five finishes at the Big Ten Championships during his career and qualified for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200 free. He was also a first alternate on the 1998 team that represented the U.S. at the World University Games.
"John was pretty well known and very well liked by a number of people in the swimming community," said MSU swimming and diving coach Jim Lutz. "The swimming and diving program, the athletic department and the university has lost an individual who was going to be a tremendous asset and a great ambassador for Michigan State University.
"It's never easy to try and put into words the effect this has on a team. It hits these kids so hard because college kids think they're invincible. Their eyes are opened and it's a harsh way to learn a lesson.
"His qualifying for the NCAA Championships in his last race was the epitome - he got to fulfill a lifelong dream. It was great to see him accomplish a lot of things but there's so much more he'll never get to see. His whole life was setting up so nicely."
A memorial service will be held Friday (May 4) at 7 p.m. at Betzler's Funeral Home in Kalamazoo. Funeral services are set for 10 a.m. Saturday (May 5) at St. Catherine of Siena in Portage.
The Munley family has asked that contributions be made to the John Munley Memorial Scholarship for Men's Swimming in lieu of flowers. The mailing address is:
Ralph Young Fund
at the official