While an accomplished athlete in his youth, Douglas Swales is being inducted into the Midland Sports Hall of Fame for his long-standing impact as a teacher, mentor and coach. When he became a founding teacher at Midland Penetanguishene District High School in 1956, the native of Midland had already made his mark as a member of the 1949 Huskies Junior C hockey team and later with the 1961 Midland Flyers Intermediate A hockey team.
Doug was the consummate physical and health education teacher and, in 1962, was appointed head of the MPDHS athletic program. Doug devoted himself to his career, providing leadership, mentorship, academics, coaching and sport instruction. Directly teaching approximately 150 students per year, by the time he retired in 1987, he had an impact on about 5,000 young people in this area. He coached just about every sport imaginable, including rugby, track and field, basketball, lacrosse, hockey and football. His involvement was not limited to the playing fields and arenas, as he organized and conducted intramural sports programs, fund-raising initiatives, field trips, and athletic banquets where his master of ceremonies routine always included a memorable poem that he composed about that year’s teams and champions.
His coaching accomplishments were highlighted on the gridiron, starting in 1957 when the school football team posted the best won/loss record in league play for all Georgian Bay schools in two decades. Two consecutive Georgian Bay Secondary Schools Association championships soon followed. A quote in a local newspaper reads: “One of the greatest teams of this or any other area sports history was the 1961 and 1962 Midland and Penetang District High School, who went undefeated for two years.”
In nominating her father, Kelly (Swales) Graham says: “He has lived his life with unwavering values and this made him a mentor and role model to everyone who ever knew him.” That, no one can question.