During his 44 seasons as the St. Olaf College men's swimming coach and 27 seasons as its women's swimming coach, Dave Hauck didn't define the success of his teams by the number of championships they won.

"The thing isn't just winning," Hauck told the Star Tribune in 1996. "It's improving. We say to a kid, 'We want you to improve from the start of the season to the finish.' Then the championships will follow."

Hauck told his swimmers, "Tell me how good you want to be and we'll work toward it."

That philosophy guided Hauck's squads to 41 MIAC conference championships — 28 by the men (including 20 consecutive ones from 1980 to 1999) and 13 by the women. During his career, the Oles won 21 NCAA Division III individual national championships.

Even with all that success, academics came first for Hauck's student-athletes.

"We never put the cart in front of the horse," Hauck told the Star Tribune in 1998. "These people are not only outstanding in their athletic efforts, but also in their academic efforts. We wouldn't want it any other way."

Hauck died on July 13 in Northfield. He was 87.

"Dave was a beloved member of our community as a father, coach, mentor and friend," St. Olaf athletic director Ryan Bowles said in a statement released by the school. "His impact on generations of Oles past and present was immense, and he will be sorely missed, but his legacy will live on forever."

Hauck started his St. Olaf coaching career in 1966 as the men's gymnastics coach. He became the men's swimming coach in 1973. During his time at St. Olaf, he also spent 30 seasons as an assistant football coach, nine years as the men's gymnastics coach, seven years as the men's golf coach and six years as the softball coach.

"He was everything you would want your child to have in a coach," Jon Foss, who swam for the Oles in the mid-1980s, said in the school's statement. "He was the most hardworking, honest guy. There have been a lot of great people at St. Olaf, but it is hard to imagine anyone who was more impactful to his or her group."

Hauck's son Bob, who won seven national championships, set three national records and was the NCAA Division III Swimmer of the Year in 1987 as an undergraduate at St. Olaf, joined his father as the Oles' co-coach in 1988. The 2018-19 season was Bob Hauck's 30th as the Oles' coach.

Dave Hauck was born on July 26, 1931, in Madison, Minn., to Leslie and Mary Hauck. After graduating from Madison High School in 1949, he attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. As a swimmer, he was a six-time MIAC individual champion, including two titles in 1952 to help the Gusties win the MIAC conference title. After graduating from Gustavus in 1953, he entered the Army Medical Corps, serving from 1953 to 1955.

After his Army stint, he coached and taught in Henderson, Minn., for three years and then for eight years in his hometown before joining the staff at St. Olaf in 1966. In addition to his coaching, Hauck, who earned a master's degree in physical education from Bemidji State University, taught in the exercise science department for 30 years.

Hauck is a member of the Gustavus Adolphus and St. Olaf Athletic Halls of Fame and the Minnesota Swimming Hall of Fame.

In addition to his son Bob, Hauck is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary; another son, Tad; a daughter, Elizabeth Fulton; a brother, Richard Hauck, and nine grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on July 27 at the Skoglund Center on the St. Olaf campus. The funeral will be July 28 in the Boe Memorial Chapel on campus.