Charles Silvia (USA)
Honor Contributor (1976)
FOR THE RECORD: U.S. National Collegiate record holder: 300yd individual medley; College All-American; Captain, Springfield College Swim Team; Multi-sports coach: New Hampton School; Wibraham Academy; New Haven YMCA; Springfield College (from 1937); Assistant Coach: 1956 U.S. Olympic Team; Developed 50 college swim coaches; His swimmers set 14 World Records; President, College Swimming Coaches Association of America; President, Board Chairman, ISHOF; Recipient of Collegiate & Scholastic Swimming Trophy; Honoree in Helms (Citizens Savings) Hall of Fame; Author of Life Saving & Water Safety Today.
Charles “Red” Silvia coached Bill Yorzyk in a 20 yd. pool and brought him from a non-swimmer freshman in college, to a graduate student with Pan-American and Olympic gold medals, 13 World Records in freestyle and butterfly, and US. National AAU Championships in butterfly and individual medley. Yorzyk won the USA’s only 1956 Olympic gold in men’s swimming. In 1973, Davis Hart, another of Sylvia’s swimmers, set the record for the English Channel. In addition to revolutionizing the dolphin-butterfly stroke in the mid-1950s, Sylvia, in the late 40s, was the first to embrace mouth-to-mouth insufflations, the method of choice for artificial respiration. In 1967 Coach Silvia had 37 of his former pupils as college swim coaches, many more as medical doctors. He is a prime example of the multiplication factor in education. He has used swimming as an effective medium for the development of human potential and sent his students out into life with a sense of social responsibility that includes propagating his teaching in every possible environment.