SAMS teacher inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame

Jerry Koller, a social studies teacher at Shaler Area Middle School, was inducted into the WPIAL’s Hall of Fame Class of 2016 in the athlete category for his outstanding swim career at Bethel Park.

Mr. Koller was one of the most successful high school male swimmers in WPIAL and PIAA history. During his interscholastic career at Bethel Park, Koller was a 13-time WPIAL champion and 7-time PIAA State Champion. He held the WPIAL and PIAA state records in seven different events by the time his senior season was completed. He was named the Pennsylvania State Male Swimmer of the Year in 1996. He was a 14-time 1st Team NISCA High School All-American and finished ranked #2 in the 50-yard Freestyle and #5 in the 100-yard Freestyle in the nation following the 1996 season. He also claimed the title of national champion, winning the 100-yard Freestyle at Vanderbilt University in Nashville that year.

Mr. Koller was heavily recruited by division one institutions out of high school and eventually decided to attend the University of Pittsburgh on an athletic scholarship over other schools. While at Pitt, Mr. Koller was a 6-time Big East Champion and 4-time Big East Record Holder. He was a captain his senior year and helped guide the Panthers to four consecutive Big East Team Championships.

After his swim career was completed, Mr. Koller went on to become the head varsity swim coach at Bethel Park, Shaler Area, and Seneca Valley over the course of the next decade. He led the Bethel Park Boys’ Varsity Swim Team to a WPIAL team title in 2002. Mr. Koller retired from all involvement in the sport of swimming in 2011.

Mr. Koller has been teaching in the Shaler Area School District for 15 years, with the past 12 being at the middle school.

WPIAL announces 2016 Hall of Fame Class
TribLIVE | Sports article April 13, 2016

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