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SVH Mourns the Loss of Dr. Eric Wagner

Dear SVH Community,


It is with a deep sadness and a heavy heart that I share with you the passing of one of our own. Eric Wagner swam for us for many years, and was a huge part of the team when I started at SVH in 2004. As an older swimmer, he was a terrific role model, great swimmer and would later become an assistant coach after he graduated. We loved him as he knew the importance of TEAM in a mostly individual sport. He was friendly, funny and deeply committed to our team.

Dr. Wagner ca. 2004

After he graduated, I lost touch with him until one day last summer, I was doing a lesson in the pool, and this 30-something, muscled, tattooed, and bearded man came to swim. After the lesson he swam up to me and smiled...I knew immediately it was Eric. We embraced and I thought he would never let go. He told me how much he loved me and the team, and missed it.

He shared with me that his girlfriend had just passed away in the Phoenix area from a car crash (as I recall), and, being so close to home, had come to be with his Mom here in the 'hood.


We promised we'd keep in touch, but as you will read below, his life was very full and busy. Taylor and Darcy McCue shared with me his passing last month.


Below you will find a post from his mom Shirley, that was posted on Facebook. I ask as you read and learn about him that you keep her in your thoughts and prayers as Mother's Day is close. Eric embodied what it is to be a great human being first and foremost, everything else secondary. RIP my dear swimmer and friend.


Chris Harrison

2023 Practice Times

Starting April 4th:

​Monday through Thursday

Starting May 31st:

​Monday through Friday

  • 13-18: 6:00-7:30AM

  • 6 and Under: 7:30-8:00AM

  • 7-8: 8:00-8:45AM

  • 9-10: 8:45-9:45AM

  • 11-12: 9:45-10:45AM


"It is with great sorrow I announce the passing of my beloved son Eric. Eric was the light of my life. He was loved by both my late husband Marius and his two brothers Richard (wife Molly) and Patrick (wife Lily). The Wagner brothers were a force to be reckoned with. The closeness I witnessed as their mother will always be a source of joy to me. Eric had a vast network of aunts, uncles and cousins in Michigan,Ohio, Romania and Germany. All is cousins fondly remember the "Romanian Invasion" parties at Aunt Violet’s house.


He lived near Wrigley Field in his beloved city of Chicago with his two dogs Sadie and Nellie. Eric was an amazing athlete, going on ten mile runs with his dogs, always ending up at Lake Michigan. He would sit there and write in his journal. While a man of science, Eric inherited his mother's passion for the arts. He was an amazing musician and composed his own music. As a young child, Eric was a member of the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus that had a lasting impression on his life.


Dr. Eric touched the lives of so many patients with his kindness, compassion and morality. He was an angel walking among us, doing God's work on earth. Even though his life was short, Eric was a comet in the sky, spreading brilliant light and love to everyone who met him.


On countless occasions, he found himself in perilous situations where he stepped up to save a person's life.  At one point during his residency at University of Texas, Eric temporarily left his residency to help with Covid patients at an inner city hospital in Houston. Besides caring for Covid patients, he was one of the residents who went out in the parking lot to notify a family of a member's death. In his youth, Eric was awarded the "Real Heroes Award" from the American Red Cross for saving his best friend who was choking on a piece of candy.


Eric left his mark on the world in his short 36 years on earth. He joins the ranks of all first responders before and after him who make a difference every day. These people are the true heroes who step up to the plate and make a difference. They are also the ones who deserve our greatest admiration and care.


Dr. Eric Jameson Wagner graduated with honors from the University of Arizona. He then moved to Chicago where he worked for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, a world-class rehabilitation hospital. He interacted directly with individuals recovering from traumatic spinal cord injuries. This sparked an intense love in sports medicine that led him to completing a master’s program at Loyola University, medical school at Midwestern University, and a physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at the University of Texas Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.


He then moved back to Chicago where he practiced as a sports medicine physician and was widely beloved by his patients and coworkers alike.

Rest my son, your work on earth is done. Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me”.

We must always remember first responders first! 


Donations in Eric's memory can be made to All in for Healthcare or Tucson Boys Chorus


If you or a loved one is going through a mental health crisis, please remember that help is a phone call away by dialing 988."


Shirley Wagner

Who are the Swordfish?

Sabino Vista Hills Swim Team is a summer swim team in Northeast Tucson, AZ. We have been coaching youth to swim confidently and with blazing speed for nearly 42 years.

A member of the Southern Arizona Aquatics Association (SAAA), SVH practices weekdays from April until early July (practices are held in the evenings until school is out, then in the mornings), participates in two competitive swim meets per week (Tuesday and Thursday evening) throughout mid-May and June, SAAA Invitationals, and an end of season championship meet in early July.

Our swimmers range in age from four to 18 years old, and are broken down by age group: (6 and Under, 8 and Under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, and 15-18).  Swimming is a great way to introduce kids to competitive sport, which encourages dedication, self-reliance, doing something the right way (instead of the easy way), good sportsmanship, increases self confidence, respect towards themselves and others, and most importantly provides a fun way to be active in the summer and socialize with old and new friends.  Coach Chris' approach to swimming emphasizes good stroke/form first, strength second.

Swimmers do not need to be proficient in competitive strokes, but must be able to complete a basic swim assessment.  Contact us for more details!

"I'm a swordfish born, I'm a swordfish bred, and when I die I'm a swordfish dead..."

Join us this year to learn the rest of the fight song and start your child's swimming journey!

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