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Hank Reest Print E-mail
Hank Reest, a native of Lincoln Park, Mich., was a multiple All-American for the Falcons, earning such honors in both 1959 and 1960. He stepped into the starting lineup as a sophomore, and promptly earned All-America honors in the 220 freestyle that year. Reest was the first sophomore in school history to be named an All-American in swimming.

The next year (1959-60), Reest was a part of the league champion 440 freestyle relay team, helping the Brown and Orange to a fifth consecutive MAC meet championship.

Photo Courtesy BGSU Athletic Department Additionally, that 440 free relay foursome went undefeated during the regular season and finished sixth nationally, comprising the school's first-ever All-America relay team. Reest co-captained the Falcons as both a junior and a senior.

During his tenure, Reest set school records in the 220 and 440 freestyle events, winning MAC titles in each. He also set a school record in the 100-yard butterfly event, and, as mentioned, was a part of the 440 free relay record-holding quartet.

Reest won a pair of MAC individual titles in the 220 free, and picked up one crown in the 440 free. His senior year of 1960-61, Reest finished second at the MAC meet in three freestyle events - the 220, 440 and 1,500. The Falcons finished second, trailing Ohio by just two points.

Reest left BGSU holding the pool record for the 440 freestyle, and was part of the pool record-holding 400 medley relay team. Upon the conclusion of Reest's career, at the 1960-61 Winter Sports Banquet, Falcon coach Sam Cooper announced the inception of the Henry Reest Swimathon Trophy. He returned to southwestern Michigan after college and was instrumental in starting the boys' swimming and diving program at West Ottawa High School. In a coaching career that stretched from 1961-76, Reest coached the school to four state championships and three second place finishes, and was named to the West Ottawa Athletic Hall of Fame. He also worked as a bowling coach at the Holland, Michigan bowling center he owned with his wife.

He was inducted to the BG Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. Reest died tragically from injuries suffered in a plane crash on March 21, 2006.

(Information on this page courtesy bgsufalcons.com press release, August 8, 2003.)
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