Dave Wharton will be coming home again.
The former Warminster resident and Germantown Academy swimmer now lives in Columbus, Ohio, but will return to the area to be inducted into the Bucks County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
There is no doubt he is the greatest swimmer the county has ever produced.
Wharton was the silver medalist in the 400-meter individual medley at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul and was a member of the 1992 Olympic team. He broke two world records: the 400 IM in 1987 in Brisbane and the 200 IM in 1989 in Tokyo.
"I value so many of my experiences," Wharton said. "I traveled around the world and met all kinds of great and interesting people.
"The Olympics was a great experience and wonderful to be a part of, but my biggest career point was when I set my first world record in 1987. It was like 'OK, I can actually have fun and do really well' and that was a real turning point for me."
He was Swimming World Magazine's American Swimmer of the Year in 1987, along with Janet Evans.
He swam for the University of Southern California, where he was the PAC-10 Male Swimmer of the Year for four consecutive years, from 1988 to 1991.
He was an assistant coach at Ohio State University, where he obtained his master's degree in sports management.
He is currently the director of New Albany Parks and Recreation, where he has worked since November of 2001, and he is the coach of the New Albany High School swim team.
"I wear many hats," he said. "I love coaching; it's a lot of fun. My life is very busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way."
He and wife Tammy have two children: Allyson, 11, and Austin, 10.
"They're both very active and doing well in school," he said. "They both swim."
Wharton is an inductee of distinction along with Howie Landa, a former Mercer County Community College and UNLV basketball coach and clinician, and Chris Poff, a former Pennsbury and Neshaminy wrestling coach.
"I'm really looking forward to it," Wharton said. "I get back to the area once a year to see family, and that's always fun.
"I'll be glad to see everyone and share this with them."
Wharton's former high school coach, Dick Shoulberg, will be attending the ceremony.
"I wouldn't have achieved what I did without Dick, so I'm really very happy that he'll be there," he said. "So he'll be there, and my whole family will be there so I think it will be very special."
Other inductees include Stefani Michele Allen, Harry S. Truman and Manhattan College track athlete; Richie Cornwall, Neshaminy and Syracuse basketball player; Randy Cuthbert, Central Bucks West, Duke and Pittsburgh Steelers football player; Gary Gray, Bishop Egan and Penn State football player; Chuck Kane, Pennsbury football coach; Bob Liberatore, Bristol basketball player; Monica Mills, Neshaminy and Temple field hockey and lacrosse player; John Reich, Neshaminy and US Naval Academy wrestler; Jim Sottile, Bristol basketball coach and West Virginia basketball player; and Jack Stricker, Neshaminy and Temple football player.
Deceased inductees are Dick Lee, Morrisville baseball and basketball coach and baseball and basketball official, and Anita Pionzio, swimming and track official and CYO swim coach.
The ceremony will be held at King's Caterers in Levittown, 6 p.m. Monday. Tickets are $45 per person for the banquet and may be obtained on the Hall of Fame website, www.buckscountysportshof.com, or by calling 215-932-8484.
Karen Sangillo of PhillyBurbs.com