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Remembering John Ferris

Sep 20, 2020

Sacramento Bee | Swimming World Magazine |

STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford men's swimming program mourns the loss of John Ferris, who passed away from lung cancer on Sept. 13 in Walnut Creek, Calif. Ferris was 71.

A three-time NCAA champion and 10-time Pac-10 champion during his collegiate career at Stanford, Ferris will also be remembered for his remarkable efforts on the international stage.

A native of Sacramento, Calif., who attended Rio Americano High school and trained at the Arden Hills Swim Club, Ferris arrived on The Farm in 1967 as the world record holder in the 200-meter butterfly, clocking in at 2:06.00 at the World University Games in Tokyo.

Ferris also contributed to Stanford's storied Olympics history, capturing a pair of bronze medals at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico. Ferris delivered podium finishes in the 200-meter butterfly and 200-meter individual medley.

A member of the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame, Ferris was responsible for three NCAA individual titles. In addition to securing the 200-yard butterfly in 1969 with a time of 1:49.61, Ferris was a member of the 400-yard medley relay squad that won it all in 1970 (3:24.99) and 1971 (3:22.51).

Ferris also made his mark at the conference level, producing 10 Pac-10 crowns. Three of those titles came in the 100-butterfly (1969-71), three in the 200-butterfly (1969-71), two in the 200 individual medley (1969-70) and two as a member of the 400-medley relay team (1970-71).