Inducted February 23, 1985
The first swimmer to be selected to the SMS Athletic Hall of Fame, Tom Tipton came to SMS from Kansas City and lettered for the Bruins from 1971 through 1974. Swimming for Coach Dale Williams, Tipton helped SMS to three straight MIAA swimming championships from 1971 through 1973 and the Bears had a near-miss second place finish his senior season. Only the second SMS athlete ever to gain All-American honors three seasons in a row and the Bruins’ first All-American in swimming, Tipton finished fourth in his specialty, the 100-yard breaststroke at the 1972 NCAA Division II meet; captured 10th in that event in the 1973 national meet; and was seventh in the race in the 1974 championship. His fourth place finish in 1972 equaled the highest NCAA finish ever of any SMS swimmer at that time. He was the only SMS swimmer to score points in NCAA competition from the time the program was started in 1965 until 1978. He won the 100-yard breaststroke race in the MIAA championship meet four years in a row, won the 200-yard breaststroke race twice, and swam on the winning SMS 400-yard medley relay team in the conference meet four years in a row. During Tipton’s four seasons, Coach Williams’ teams compiled a dual meet mark of 36-13.