January 17, 2021
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Dave and Frances

Dave and Frances Enzler with granddaughter Lilly

Where do story ideas come from? Well, just when you least expect it, stories, like life, can occasionally show up in odd and random places. No different than my billfold and car keys. As I write this letter on Aug. 13, for example, my day began as it does every morning by reading the Evansville Courier & Press and the Wall Street Journal prior to leaving the house. Imagine my surprise when there was a photo of a Kentucky Wesleyan student moving her belongings into a residence hall on the Owensboro, Kentucky, campus on page 2 of the Wall Street Journal.

Another example — a few short weeks ago my wife and I, who watch very little television, happened to see that CNBC had a favorite show on, “American Greed.” This episode featured the story of disgraced producer and entrepreneur Lou Pearlman who was instrumental in the molding and shaping of the boy bands NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. Between my fading memory and a glimpse of the Integra Bank logo in the episode, I remembered the local connection. Our Senior Writer Elisa Gross lays out the details in “Larger than Life” on page 28 in this issue. And if you haven’t seen “American Greed,” narrated by the great Stacy Keach, check it out.

Note: while reading the Sunday paper on Aug. 16 (I was writing this column very slowly), I saw CBS Sunday Morning chronicling a 97-year-old who had just walked/run coast to coast. Why? To raise money for the LST Museum located in Evansville, Indiana. There even was a bit of localized video on the show. Stories come from everywhere, even nationally.

Earlier this month, a swim banquet marked the end of an era for our family and for several others. In July we attended our club swimming banquet which was a special and emotional night (for others, I’m like steel). The Memorial swim team banquet followed a few weeks later, held outdoors with every COVID-19 precaution taken that even Dr. Fauci could have dreamed up. (It had been canceled in March immediately after the swim season that saw the girls and the boys team members compete at IHSAA State Championships.) Determined that our swim kids would get their last “hurrah,” parents set out to ensure the event happened. It was a great event with laughter and tears and many lumps in throats.

Even with the tremendous success of the Memorial team, I knew what some parents were thinking and it wasn’t about swimming. This is the end of my kid(s) being part of a Dave and Frances Enzler coached team. Dave and Frances have 22 years of coaching Memorial swim teams under their belts. For reference, both of my sons swam for them from the time they were 4 years old until their senior year of high school. This was a combination of club and high school swimming.

Fourteen years of the same coaching is the kind of continuity and consistency rarely found in, well, damn near anything anymore. Both legendary, coaches Dave and Frances have had an undeniable and unbelievably positive impact on hundreds of kids fortunate enough to be coached in swimming and life lessons by them. Kids were taught to be accountable, responsible, polite, and considerate of others. “Be the best teammate you can.” “Hard work helps ensure success.”

You better believe the tremendous life lessons learned also carried over into the classroom. And I can’t even begin to mention the conversations that begin by my sons or friends saying “Dave and Frances” or one of the other. I could go on and tell many stories. I couldn’t do them justice.

My son Jack told a story at the banquet of Frances being in his face in and out of the pool. Good on ya, Frances. He loves you for it. What a special treasure Dave and Frances are in this community. Ask anyone whose kids (and adults, too) have been fortunate enough to have then involved in their lives.

When I was searching for the right photograph of the Enzlers, I reached out to Kristie Alexander, whose boys Nate and Drew also swam for them the same length of time as my boys. Kristie, without even knowing what I was doing, wrote the following: “Can I just say for the millionth time, I just love these two. We have been so fortunate to have them coach our kids.”

I will leave it at that.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you.



Todd A. Tucker


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