James A Pusateri – Honor Contributor

Born in Baltimore and raised in Highlandtown, Jim Pusateri was one of six children. He attended Patterson High School where he wrestled and played football. Jim went on to graduate from Oklahoma State University, where he also played football. While working first at Beth Steel’s Key Highway Shipyard and later at L&C Marine in Locust Point, Jim was never far away from the water. In fact, he oversaw the construction of two cargo ships. But it was smaller tanks, 25 meter, 25 yard and 50 meter water tanks where he would leave an indelible mark on Maryland Swimming. Like so many other fathers, it was his children’s involvement with swimming that got him hooked. Beginning with Fallston Swim Club in the Harford County Swim League, Jim took an interest in officiating rising up through the ranks from stroke and turn judge to referee. When his son Troy became a year round swimmer with the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, Jim offered his help, serving as a club officer, eventually President. Likewise in Maryland Swimming, he worked as an Official, rising to officiate at National Level competitions as well as serving as General Chair of Maryland Swimming. “Jim was a man who knew what he was doing,” one colleague remembers, “how it should be done and didn’t take exceptions to this on or off the deck. If an official did his/her job and could verbally explain any violation, he backed them to the hilt. Yet again, if it couldn’t be done, the benefit went to the swimmer.” Jim passed away from cancer at age 63 in February of 2007. In his honor, Maryland Swimming began awarding the Jim Pusateri Award for Officiating in 2012, the first recipient being John Ferrari. For his legacy of professionalism and leadership, Jim Pusateri is inducted into the Maryland Swimming Hall of Fame.