2002 PARAGON AWARD
Olympic Coach - University of Michigan
After 43 years of coaching diving, all at the University of
Michigan, Dick Kimball has fallen to mandatory retirement.
His appearance and fitness levels are that of a man half of his 67 years.
His coaching and teaching levels are energetic, on time and without
reminenance. He can still do a
4-1/2 somersault with a trampolet off the 10m platform. He is diving’s legend of the sport.
winning the Minnesota High School State Diving Championship for 4 years, Dick
spent one year at Oklahoma before heading to Michigan.
He never left. He was an NCAA Champion on the 1 meter and 3 meter
springboards and trampoline. He was
considered the all-time world’s greatest acrobatic diver, teaming up with
Hobie Billingsley and then Ron O’Brien. He
was the first to put a spotting rig over a diving board, developing many new
dives. His divers Micki King and
Lani Loken were the first women (1967) to do a complete men’s list off the
Dick has coached 9 divers to Olympic medals and 5 divers to
NCAA National Championships. Four
Olympians won five gold medals: Bob Webster – 10m platform (1960, 1964), Micki
King – 3m springboard (1972), Phil Boggs – 3m springboard (1976) and Mark
Lenzi – 3m springboard (1992) . Three
divers won silver medals: Alvaro Gaxiola – platform (1968), Dick Rydze –
platform (1972) and son Bruce Kimball – platform (1984). Ron Merriott and Chris Seufert both won springboard bronze
medals in 1984.
Kimball was assistant coach of the U.S. Olympic teams of
1964, ’80, ’84, ’88 and ’92 and a four-time World Championship team
coach. He has been coach of teams
for numerous international trips throughout the world. He has been a mentor to
many pupils and he has had great impact on their lives as well as their diving.
Dick was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of
Fame in 1985.
© ISHOF, Inc.