Ambrose "Rowdy" Gaines, IV is one the greatest American sprint freestylers of all-time. Five-time NCAA Champion, Rowdy swam at Auburn from 1977-1981. Gaines competed in the 1984 Olympics and won the gold in the 100-meter freestyle. He also contributed to the US winning gold in both the medley relay and 4 x 100 free relay.
Rowdy also has two gold medals and a silver medal from the 1978 World Championships and has three gold and two silver medals from the 1982 Worlds.
After the 1984 Olympics, Rowdy retired from competing and became a swimming announcer for television. In 1991 he developed Guillain-Barre syndrome, hospitalizing him for two months. He used swimming as therapy and qualified for the 1996 Olympic Trials. Rowdy is a member of the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, and the Florida Sports Hall of Fame.