Popular Ex-Carmel Swim Coach Banned

Ray Lawrence Permanently Suspended, USA Swimming Officials Say

A popular former Carmel swim coach was banned from the sport by USA Swimming, the national organization that oversees athletes and coaches.

Ray Lawrence was placed on a list of suspended and ineligible individuals, but USA Swimming officials would not give specific reasons to back the move.

In an emailed statement, Communications Director Jamie Fabos Olsen wrote, "Mr. Lawrence was banned from USA Swimming on 3/8/11 for violations that occurred prior to the current Code of Conduct ."

Other former Indiana coaches on the list include Brian Hindson and Chris Wheat. Hindson is serving a 33-year sentence on child pornography convictions. Wheat pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct last year.

Lawrence's wife, Nancy, told 6News' Joanna Massee she was unaware of what her husband is accused of doing wrong. She compared the process to a witch hunt.

"I'm disappointed, because he's disappointed. It's his career that's been attacked," Lawrence said.

Fellow former coach Linda Horn voted to induct Lawrence into the Indiana High School Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame. Horn said can't believe USA Swimming would suspend him.

"He's just everything anybody would want, as a principal and a coach and everything else," Horn said.

After leaving Carmel in 1995, Lawrence served as principal of Speedway High School until he retired in 2007. He currently works for the Indiana Online Academy.

A representative for Central Indiana Educational Service Center, which founded the IOA, emailed a statement that said, "Ray Lawrence is an employee in good standing with CIESC. We are not aware of any conduct that would cause us to question his standing. He is a licensed and experienced principal in good standing. This matter will be investigated."

Carmel Clay Schools officials said they were made aware that Lawrence was banned, but they were not aware of any specific incidents during the time he was employed there.