LAKEWOOD, Ohio — They say that blood is thicker than water, but for one Lakewood family, water is the very thing that brings them closer together.
Dennis Dyke was a diver at Lakewood High School in the 60s. He then dove in the Army before getting into coaching. His path eventually brought him back to his high school alma mater, where he's been coaching since 1995. While teaching the next generation of divers, Dyke continues to dive in his own free time, too.
"I got back into diving at the pool but just for my own recreational purposes. In 1989, I dove in the Masters Nationals," Dyke said.
However, Dyke suffered a medical emergency in 2016 that jeopardized his diving career.
"I missed the last Masters Nationals that came into town because I had a stroke. I was paralyzed down my whole right side," Dyke sad.
His conditioning from diving played a key part in his recovery.
"They said that I was in, physically, really good shape going into it, and that was probably why I came back out of it so quickly," he said.
He excelled in physical therapy, adding, "I was so good they kicked me out."
Dyke made a full return to the pool. He's currently in his 28th year coaching the Rangers. This year, though, he has a diver he knows quite well under his tutelage — his grandson, J.P. McManamon.
"My grandpa wanted me to do it, and he was gonna be coaching me, so I thought it would be easier if he was coaching me, " said J.P., a freshman at Lakewood.
J.P. is very familiar with his grandpa's legacy.
"He's just a really good coach, in general. Really great grandpa, really great coach," J.P. said.
J.P. is now starting to continue his grandfather's legacy from the diving board.
"He reminds me of me," Dyke said fondly.
Carly Mascitti is a sports anchor at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @carlymascitti.
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