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Dick Guyer was the face of York Suburban's swimming program for more than four decades.

The legendary coach's swimmers won team and individual honors at every level — state, district and league.

Guyer's teams captured three state titles, 19 District 3 crowns and 28 York-Adams division titles.

The York Suburban boys were state Class AA champions from 2006 through 2008.

The following year, Guyer was forced to step down from his position because of deteriorating health.

He was diagnosed with a type of leukemia, underwent chemotherapy for a year, lost 50 pounds and underwent a bone-marrow transplant.

It was a long and hard road back to where Guyer was before the devastating illness forced him to step away from coaching, but with the support of friends and family, combined with his strong will, he made it.

Six years after leaving the Bucknell University swimming complex following the state championship meet, Guyer is back on the York Suburban pool deck in a new role: assistant coach.

"I'm a pretty positive person, and I'm a pretty good fighter," he said. "Plus, the alternative (not undergoing treatment) wasn't good. Now, that I'm healthy, I don't want to just sit around and be a grump. I have things I can share with people and I'm excited about doing that."

No one is more thrilled about Guyer's return than York Suburban head coach Craig Brennan.

Brennan swam for Guyer in the late 1990s and was a part of a state championship relay team.

"He (Guyer) hasn't missed a beat," Brennan  said at a recent practice. "He's walking down along the pool right now trying to get one of our swimmer's attention. His passion is just as good or better than I've ever seen it. That's great to have on our pool deck."

Guyer's goal is to work with swimmers individually and help improve their strokes and times.

"I just get to do what I love doing. Watching kids swim, trying to fix their mechanics and getting into their heads why they can swim faster," Guyer said. "It's great to be back coaching. Just being away six years, it's amazing how much I missed. Craig kept right abreast with it. He's one of our great young coaches today."

There's one thing about coaching that Guyer didn't miss — the paperwork.

"I understand why It (the paperwork) is necessary, but it's fun just to coach," he said. "In the morning when I get up, I say: 'Hooray, it's another day. Let's go.'"

— Reach Dick VanO'Linda at sports@yorkdispatch.com.

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