In 1980, the Dad's Club team placed 18th overall at the Indoor Senior Nationals in Austin, Texas, and 13th overall at the Olympic Trials in Irvine, Calif. Unfortunately, 1980 was the year of the Olympic boycott. However, Ricky Bodor, Glynde Mangum, Larry Craft, Rick May, Michelle Merchant, Bill O'Brien, Dean Putterman, Chris Rives, Kelly Rives, Andy Schmidt, and Pat Nitsch represented the Dad's Club well at the trials.
Jay Fitzgerald served as head coach at the Dad's Club from 1979-81. In 1980, the Dad's Club won the YMCA National Men's, Women's, and Combined Team titles. In 1981, the Dad's Club won the YMCA National Men's Team title. Steve Cattolica followed Jay Fitzgerald as head coach at the Dad's Club beginning in August, 1981, through November, 1982. Steve came to Houston from California. Coach Cattolica's noted swimmers were Chris Rives, who set a national high school record for Memorial in the 100-yard butterfly his senior year, and Asa Lawrence, who was the junior national champion in the 50-yard freestyle in 1982. Asa set a junior national record time in that event that stood for eight years.
In 1983, Randy Julian was named head coach. This same year Ricky Bodor received a silver medal for the 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay at the 1983 World University Games in Edmonton, Canada. Randy Julian's boys won the 1985 YMCA National Title.
His men's team placed 10th in short course at the Los Angeles Indoor Senior Nationals and placed 6th at Long Course USS Nationals that same year. The season of 1983 was one of transition and rebuilding. Scott Hemingway won three gold medals at the junior meet and Heather Hardy took the gold in the 100-meter backstroke. Two Dad's Club swimmers qualified for Senior Nationals: Ricky Bodor and Asa Lawrence. Asa earned 6th in the 50-meter freestyle and 12th in the 100-meter freestyle. Chris Rives qualified for the Pan Pacific Games and the World Student Games, both held in Japan that year. He was a gold medalist in the 200-meter individual medley at the Pan Pacific Games, finishing with the fourth fastest time in the world that year.
For both the Dad's Club and the Houston area in general, 1986 proved to be a difficult period. Hit by the hard economic times within the oil industry, many families left the Houston metropolitan area. The spring of 1986 brought tragedy to the club with the traffic death of Kirstin Torgerson, one of the club's strongest swimmers. The Dad's Club team, determined to overcome this adversity, sent a strong 14-member team to the Austin Junior Nationals.
The Olympic year of 1988 had great impact on the Dad's Club yet again! Mark Boerner was hired in 1988 and served as head coach for 21 years through 2009. Many good swimmers were developed during this period. The team had two United States Olympic Trials qualifiers in Eric Ruby and David Hansen. Russ White, a Dad's Club parent and a USA official, was the Men's official starter at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Doug Gjertsen trained with the Dad's Club while attending the University of Texas. He won an Olympic gold medal in 1988 as a member of the 800-meter freestyle relay in Seoul. He also won an Olympic bronze medal while training at UT in the 800-meter freestyle relay in Barcelona, Spain, in 1992.