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Beloved Bloomfield Hills Swimming Coach Loses Battle to Cancer

Mike Rado, who died Tuesday, coached athletes with "tough love, support and a focus to be a great athlete, but also a great person."

Former Bloomfield Hills Lahser coach Mike Rado, shown here with his family, died after a two-year battle with brain cancer. (Photo: Bloomfield Hills Schools)
Former Bloomfield Hills Lahser coach Mike Rado, shown here with his family, died after a two-year battle with brain cancer. (Photo: Bloomfield Hills Schools)

A Bloomfield Hills Lahser swimming coach who was respected throughout Michigan swimming circles has died.

Mike Rado, 58, died Tuesday after a two-year battle with brain cancer, MiPrepZone reports.

“Rado coached his athletes with tough love, support and a focus to be a great athlete, but also a great person,” the school district said in a Thursday news release. “His presence on the pool deck has been felt for five decades.

“As an athlete, he won state titles, Big Ten titles and so many great races,” the statement continued. “He has won numerous coaching awards, been honored by coach’s associations and contributed immensely to high school swimming and diving. But, what he will be remembered for most are the life lessons he taught, the stories he shared and time he spent with all of us.”

He was a state championship swimmer for Farmington Hills Harrison in high school, then went on to become a Big Ten champion in 1977 while swimming for Michigan State University.

He spent his entire coaching career at Lahser.. In 2011, he was named to the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame. He was the Michigan Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association Zone and State Coach of the Year in 2013.

Rado coached Lahser in its final season as a program, leading the girls to a second-placed finish at the Division 3 finals while leading the boys to a fourth-place finish.

“When it came to coaching, Mike looked at his fellow coaches more as associates with respect about our common interest in working with the kids, than he ever did as opponents. That was his first priority, his swimming family was his life and he endured many personal sacrifices servicing his kids’ best interest,” Mercy girls and Catholic Central boys swim coach Shannon Dunworth said. “His last two seasons while having undergone brain surgery, chemo and radiation, his outlook was amazing and his concern for his swimmers never lost focus.”

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