In the swim: UT honors Carters for college sport

Tim and Nancy Carter

Tim and Nancy Marter Carter made quite a splash with each other as youngsters, and they have continued doing so through 39 years of marriage.

Among their memorable moments going through life together are their times swimming for the University of Texas. They relived those memories recently as the Fort Worth couple were among the prestigious Frank Erwin Award honorees at the UT Swimming and Diving Reunion Weekend Sept. 9-10 in Austin.

The event was sponsored by the T-Association and the Working Exes for Texas Swimming.

Tim is currently president and CEO of the North Texas region of Southside Bank and vice-chairman of Texas Wesleyan University Nancy is self-employed in the clothing industry.

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Tim and Nancy attended Bellaire High School in Houston. He was one of the top college recruits in 1973. She was one of the earliest UT women’s swimming lettermen and helped establish the program at the school.

Tim lettered for the Longhorns from 1974-77 and was All-Southwest Conference and a three-time NCAA qualifier. He also qualified for the 1972 Olympic Trials, reaching the semifinals in the 200-meter individual medley.

“That was the Mark Spitz era. It was great to just be a part of that,” he said.

Nancy was a qualifier in a variety of events for the Texas Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women and AIAW from 1975-77.

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But she thought she had given up swimming as there was no program at UT when she arrived. She came back to the newly formed team under Title IX with coach Pat Patterson.

“I recall going to AIAW in Fort Lauderdale and got up on the blocks for the 50 free, and next to me was a girl with her head shaved. In college. Shaved head,” Nancy recalled. “Guess she didn’t care much about dating, etc. I thought, girl, if you are trying to psyche me out, you just did.”

But Nancy and Tim have not lost often, in the pool or in life. He has had a long career in banking and finance and as a community leader, serving as councilman and two-time mayor of the city of Bellaire near Houston. She also serves on several boards and is involved with numerous charities.

And together, they have endowed a scholarship at the McCombs School of Business at UT.

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Nancy said everything she learned through swimming also helped her with many of life’s challenges. She beat breast cancer 10 years ago.

“The lesson of courage and will to win came in handy,” she said.

Those qualities have affected her family as well.

“She persevered. She was committed,” said daughter Kristen Simons. “And she continues to impart these qualities into my siblings and me.”

While swimming created many college memories, Tim and Nancy were involved in a variety of activities. Among them, she was a member of Bevo’s Babes and he was part of the Silver Spurs, the group that cares for Bevo, the Longhorns’ mascot.

“You’d sit in a field all night long and take care of him,” Tim said. “They told us to sit and make sure nobody gets past the gate. Meanwhile, Bevo is out in this big field somewhere.”

And though their competitive days in the pool are behind them, Tim said, the sport continues to have a daily influence.

“Swimming teaches you a lot of things that are connected to life and business,” he said. “You’ve got to keep at it, fighting to succeed.

“It’s like a long-distance workout.”