Fran Norris began coaching young aspiring swimmers shortly after she and her family moved to Huntsville, Alabama, from Michigan in 1961. In 1965, she started a swim team on Monte Sano. They told me I wouldnt last because of baseball and ballet, she said, but it did last. She has become one of the most recognizable and honored personalities in the Huntsville swimming community for almost half a century. This longtime Senior Development Coach and Masters Coach at the Huntsville Swim Association has mentored many national record-holders and junior national champions over the years. Among these are Chris ONeil, a four time All-American at Texas A&M, a gold medalist at the World University Games in Kobe, Japan, in 1985, and an inductee in the 2008 class of the Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame. Norris also coached Margaret Hoelzer, a Huntsville native who went on to become an All-American Swimmer at Auburn University. In the 2008 Olympics at Beijing, China, Hoelzer won three medals, two silvers and a bronze. In 2007, the annual Jack Frost Invitational, one of the Tennessee Valleys premier swimming events for many years, was renamed the Fran Norris Invitational. Fran was born at Galt, Ontario, Canada, and attended high school in Ontario, and later received a degree in psychology from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Her daughter, Karlynn, who swam competitively at Missouri and later Kentucky, is now a therapist in Lexington, Kentucky. Her son, Tim, a former All-American swimmer at Alabama, was once ranked among the top 1500 Freestylers in the world. Hes now the Head Age Group Coach at the Huntsville Swim Association. I come from a swimming family, says Fran. My uncle, Matt McIntosh, once swam the English Channel. In a story by Mike Marshall, published in The Huntsville Times on November 8, 2007, Fran said: Ive always loved water and Ive always loved working with children. Whether its telling stories in Sunday School or whatever, Ive always loved working with children. Ive coached everything from house painters to physicians. Ive coached all kind of kids, good and bad. With all her swimmers, Fran was always fond of leaving little reminder notes before a big meet. For example, You looked good at practice. I think youre going to have a great meet and dont eat any candy.