Russell Kim Williams – Honor Coach

Coach Russell “Kim” Williams has been swimming since he was a young boy. Baltimore born and bred, his father, who was an avid swimmer, would take him to Clifton Park pool, a local outdoor pool in East Baltimore. It was there that his love for the sport of swimming blossomed. As a young man out of high school, Russell applied for a lifeguard position with The Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks (BCRP) in 1973. While working as a lifeguard, he swam at Morgan State University, helping his college swim team win the MEAC championship. He began coaching in 1981 for both the Baltimore City Public School System and the BCRP. The area high school teams included Southern, Patterson, and Lake Clifton/Eastern High School, which won the District 9 title in 1993. In addition to his full-time job in the Baltimore City School System, Coach Williams was the Aquatics Safety Officer Trainer for BCRP, responsible for instructing First Aid, CPR, and Lifeguarding. He was also an Instructor Trainer for the Red Cross. Over his career he has mentored and trained thousands of Baltimore’s Lifeguards, Pool Operators and Managers. In 1986, Russell and Portia Harris co-founded the Baltimore City Swim Club (BCSC), with only 8 swimmers, but since its inception Coach Kim has developed the swimming skills of hundreds of children using swimming as a catalyst to promote excellence in athletics, academics and sportsmanship. While he strives to develop fast swimmers too, he is equally committed to serving an underserved population of young people who need the discipline, physical fitness routine and family environment that swimming offers. His athletes stay in touch, whether they go on to be lawyers, doctors, teachers or whatever their profession, “because the love of the sport and the indelible bond that is created is everlasting.” With his recent retirement as a Principal in the BCPS, he now has more time to devote to his true passion of coaching swimmers and mentoring the next generation of BCSC coaches. For his ground breaking success in bringing swimming to the youth of Baltimore, Russell “Kim” Williams is inducted into the Maryland Swimming Hall of Fame.