Friday, May 29, 2020

Passages: Masters Hall of Fame Swimmer Frank Piemme Passes Away at 95

He was inducted in the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame in 2004. Below is his bio from when he was inducted.
Frank Piemme no date no credit (1)
Frank Piemme. Photo Courtesy: Swimming World Archive
Piemme is a product of his environment: as tough as the rattlesnakes he collected in his youth, as tireless as his homesteader father, as curious as his professors at Cal Tech and Berkeley, as meticulous as a professional engineer.
Frank Piemme is a native Californian, born in San Bernadino, January 8, 1925. He was raised in the, then, frontier San Joaquin Valley where he learned to swim in the Feather River. He collected rattlers on the family homestead on the Sutter Buttes and graduated from Taft High School in oil country, Kern County.
It was at Taft High where Frank, intending to be a diver, was persuaded by swimming Coach Zecher, to try swimming, at least beforeWorld War II curtailed high school sports.
Graduating in 1943, Frank Piemme headed south to Cal Tech in Pasadena where he swam a half-season in 1945 in the Navy at Treasure Island. The next year he got in another half-season in the 50 and 100 free and relays. Piemme considered anything longer a distance event.
After discharge from the Navy in 1946, the young Vet went back to the oil field near Taft where he met his wife, Connie, a nurse. They married in 1949. Returning to college at the University of California, he gave no thought to swimming as he worked toward his degree in mechanical engineering.
Frank Piemme no date by Bill Morson, Lompoc Record (1)
Frank Piemme. Photo Courtesy: Bill Morson
Frank worked as an engineer for 26 years for John-Manville Corporation, interrupted only by five years with Lockheed and North American-Rockwell. Most of his working years were spent in Lompoc, on California’s scenic central coast. He retired in 1982 after spending his last nine years at Johns-Manville Headquarters in Denver. It was in Denver while assigned to the J-M Headquarters that Frank joined the Engelmeisters Swim Team in 1980 as a way to lose weight. He realized what he had been missing since 1946.
By 1984, Frank Piemme ranked fifth nationally in the 55-59 age group in the one-hour postal and his Masters swimming career was launched.
To date, this Lompac, California resident has set 49 Masters World Records. He has 133 number one, 57 number two and 33 number three world rankings since 1986, at one time holding all the freestyle number one rankings from 50m to 1500m in his age group.
This tough competitor served as president of the Y.M.C.A. and of the Lompoc Toastmasters. He served as counselor for Junior Achievement, a docent for the La Purisima Mission, and a volunteer for Christmas Cheer.
Masters Hall of Fame swimmer Jurgen Schmidwrote to the Swimming Hall of Fame:
My best friend Frank Piemme passed away on Thursday. He was 95 and inducted into the masters hall of fame back in 2004 in the 1st group. He passed away peacefully with his wife Connie and daughter Carol by his side. Frank, Graham, and I were the best of friend for decades. Frank was my inspiration in swimming and life.

Happy Birthday JOHN HENCKEN !!!

1988 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1972 gold (200m breaststroke), bronze (100m breaststroke); 1976 gold (100m breaststroke; relay), silver (200m breaststroke); 1980 Member Olympic Team; WORLD RECORDS: 13 (100m, 200m breaststroke; 1 relay); WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1973 gold (100m breaststroke; 1 relay), silver (200m breaststroke); AMERICAN RECORDS: 21 (100yd, 200yd, 100m, 200m breaststroke; 5 relays); AAU NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: 14 (100yd, 200yd, 100m, 200m breaststroke; 3 relays); NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: 5 (100yd, 200yd breaststroke).

With 13 world records and 14 AAU nationals, John Hencken is the only swimmer who ever qualified for three Olympic teams in both the 100 meter and 200 meter breaststroke.  Hencken was the last great (and the fastest) of all those "flat on the water" American breaststrokers who appeared in the 1960-70s. "The stroke was like a fine sports car that needs constant tuning," says Hall of Fame honor coach Howard Firby.  Only Hencken survived more than a few years.  He shared the era with honoree David Wilkie both indoors and out, long course and short.  Without each other as constant rivals, who know how many wins each might have garnered.

In spite of or maybe because of this competition, John Hencken managed five NCAA Championships, 14 AAU Championships and 21 American records to go with his 13 world records and five Olympic medals.  Unlike many breaststroke champions, no one could ever label Hencken a 100 breaststroke sprinter or a 200 man.  His world records were about equally divided as he lowered the 100 meter from 1:05.68 in 1972 several times to 1:03.88 in 1974 and 1:03.11 in 1976.  In the 200 he dropped the world record from 2:22.79 in 1972 to 2:18.21 in 1974.  Scholar swimmer John Hencken graduated from Stanford in general engineering-product design and completed his MBA at the University of Phoenix.

Happy Birthday GAIL EMERY !!!!

2000 Honor Synchronized Swimming Coach

FOR THE RECORD:  1988, 1992, 1996 OLYMPIC GAMES:  Head Coach; 1982, 1986, 1991, 1994 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Coach; 1983 - Present FINA WORLD CUP:  Team Coach; 1979 to Present NATIONAL TEAM: Coach; Coach of OLYMPIC SWIMMERS winning 11 gold and 3 silver medals, WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SWIMMERS winning 14 gold and 9 silver, FINA WORLD CUP SWIMMERS winning 24 gold and 5 silver medals, GOODWILL GAMES SWIMMERS winning 3 gold medals; Coach of 56 U.S. National Team Championships, 11 Junior National Team Championships; Coach of 150 swimmers to National Titles.

Not since the days of Hall of Fame Honoree and San Francisco Merionettes coach Marion Kane, has a coach dominated the world of synchronized swimming.  Her entry into the sport more than 38 years ago marked the beginning of a competitive and coaching legacy that has made Gail Emery synonymous with achievement and success.  And she did it all with a competitive but compassionate heart that brought out the best in her athletes.  Of all synchronized swimming coaches, she is the coach who perhaps had the greatest impact in this sport as it was developing on the Olympic scene.

She started at age eight when in 1959, Gail’s mom Sue Alf, long time coach and national judge, introduced Gail to synchronized swimming.  She swam first with the Solfettes of Walnut Creek, California, then the Howell Swim Club of Danville and finished her competitive career with the Santa Clara Aquamaids under Hall of Fame coach Kay Vilen.  It was here she became a national team champion in 1972 and was part of a demonstration team that performed at the Munich Olympics. Twelve years later, in 1984, synchronized swimming became an Olympic event and Gail was on the Olympic staff.

In the fall of 1972, Gail began coaching the Walnut Creek Aquanuts, a team her mother had founded.  Eight years later in 1980, her team finally defeated the long-reigning Aquamaids of Santa Clara beginning a streak of 10 consecutive national championships, never before achieved.

As she began developing future world and Olympic champions, Gail was selected as the National Team coach in 1979, a position she held for 5 Olympic quadrennials.  She served as Olympic head coach for three Games (1988, 1992, 1996) and coach/manager for one (1984).  Her personal swimmers - duet pair Karen and Sarah Josephson won Olympic silver in 1988 and gold in 1992.  Kristen Babb-Sprague won the solo gold in 1992.  In 1996, five of Emery’s life-long athletes made up the eight girls who won the team gold medal in the first-ever perfect-routine score in Olympic history.  With head coach Charlotte Davis in 1984, Gail helped coach Tracie Ruiz to the gold medal in the solo event and to another gold medal in the duet with Candy Costie.  Tracie won the silver in 1988.  That’s a total of 10 Olympians - eight of which originated from Emery’s club.

Gail served as coach of every World Championship team from 1982 to 1998 with her U.S. teams winning seven of the 18 gold medals.  In FINA World Cup competition, Emery-coached teams have won 25 gold medals and four silver medals, with a 1993 and 1995 sweep of the gold medals - solo, duet and team.  Her prodigy’s have earned Pan American Games gold in duet (1987, 1991) and in team entries in 1983, 1987, 1991 and 1995.

Emery’s athletes introduced a technical expertise to the sport that shed the old-school description of synchronized swimming as “water ballet” and led to the acceptance of the sport as a physically demanding yet artistically expressive athletic event.  She implemented scientifically designed training methods and diverse, cross-training regimens to take her teams to a level only pursued by others.  Her Olympic and international champions are testimony to this: Karen and Sarah Josephson, Kristen Babb-Sprague, Mary Visniski, Tracy Long, Michelle Svitenko Africano, Tammy Cleland, Heather Pease, Jill Savery, Nathalie Schneyder and Margot Thien.  As the assistant head coach of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team, four of Emery’s prodigies are among the team’s athletes.

In 1998, Gail took over the reigns of Stanford University’s synchronized swimming program and quickly won the NCAA National Championship, only the second time in 22 years for the school.  Whether it is at the collegiate, national, World Championship or Olympic levels or at the Rome Open, American Cup, Pan Pacific Championships, Japan Cup, Moscow Invitational or Swiss Open, the legacy left by Gail Emery and the athletes that she coached will be long remembered and respected.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Birthday Girl, Dawn Bean's 1955 Pan Am Games Costume

ISHOF has begun a new cataloging system and we will try to start posting memorabilia items for everyone to enjoy.  We cannot possibly display all our fabulous items, so this way, we can begin to showcase some of them.

This is the synchronized swimming costume Dawn Bean wore at the 1955 Pan American Games in Mexico City, which was held from March 12 through March 26, 1955.  Dawn played two roles as both coach and swimmer, and she took home gold along with her two sisters, Joan and Lynn.  Her husband Ross was co-coach along with her, it was truly a family affair.

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Happy Birthday DAWN BEAN !!!

1996 Honor Synchronized Swimming Contributor

FOR THE RECORD: Synchronized swimming editor, publisher, administrator, judge, coach/teacher, official, athlete for over 50 years; Publisher of "Synchro Info"; FINA "A" Official; 1955 PAN AMERICAN GAMES: gold (team).

You can synchronize your watches and you can synchronize your plans, but you can't find anyone who can synchronize swimming better than Dawn Pawson Bean has synchronized swimming.

She began her career in 1941 as a water ballet swimmer on San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel Team.  Then, for the next eight years, she competed in speed swimming before devoting herself exclusively to synchronized swimming.  From 1947 to 1955 she was both swimmer and coach along with her husband Ross who coached the girls to their first U.S. National Team Championship in 1952 while at the Athens Athletic Club of Oakland, California.  They went on to win four more national championships.

In 1955, her team won the gold medal at the Pan American Games, the first international competition in Synchronized Swimming.  Dawn's two sisters, Joan and Lynn, were a part of the team, making it a real family affair.  Between 1958 and 1983, she established and coached the Riverside Aquettes and Tustin/Irvine Meraquas where her swimmers were national Team finalists for 22 consecutive years producing five National Team members.

But her involvement went far beyond coaching.  In 1963, to promote communication in the sport, she began publishing "Synchro-Info" which, by 1992 had grown to become a 68 page publication with international distribution in over 50 countries.  It is considered to be the single largest contribution which helped lead the development of Synchronized Swimming as a world-wide sport.

Beginning in 1959, Dawn chaired many U.S. Synchronized Swimming committees including Olympic International, which established the U.S. National Team concept in 1979.  She served eight years on the U.S. Olympic Committees Executive Board.  She was the editor of the official rule books, directories, scoring and training manuals.  She is author of the "Athletes Handbook," "Coaching Synchronized Swimming Effectively" and three other United States Synchronized Swimming publications which became models of expertise.

As an official, she has been an international judge since 1971 at three FINA World Cups, four Pan American Games, five Pan Pacific Championships and eighteen other international competitions in over eight countries.  She has been a judge at the World Championships in 1978, 1982, 1986 and 1992 and at the 1988 Olympic Games.  At the 1984 Olympic Games, she was the Competition Director, as she has been for eight other international competitions.  She has instructed international coaching and judging seminars in over eight countries and lectured in many more, including all continents of the world.  She was one of FINA's first three "A" rated judges.

With her husband and three daughters supporting her, Dawn Bean has been involved and served the sport of synchronized swimming for more than 50 years as an athlete, coach, teacher, administrator, official judge, publisher and editor.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD: 1976 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (4x100m freestyle relay); 1980 OLYMPIC GAMES: (boycotted); 1984 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (4x100m freestyle relay – preliminary heat); 1988 OLYMPIC GAMES: bronze (50m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay – preliminary heat); THREE WORLD RECORDS: 2 (4x100m freestyle relay), 1 (4x200m freestyle relay); 1978 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (4x100m freestyle relay); 1982 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: silver (4x100m freestyle relay), 4x100m medley relay), bronze (100m freestyle); 1986 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: bronze (water polo); 1983 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (4x100m freestyle relay); 1975 PAN AMERICAN GAMES: gold (4x100m freestyle relay), silver (100m freestyle); 1979 PAN AMERICAN GAMES: gold (4x100m freestyle relay, 4x100m medley relay, 100m butterfly), silver (100m freestyle); 1983 PAN AMERICAN GAMES: gold (4x100m freestyle relay); 20 U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: 13 individual, 7 relays; 21 NCAA/AIAW NATIONAL: 16 individual, 5 relays.

In 1971, Jill Sterkel appeared in her first US National Championship meet at the age of ten. At age 14, she qualified for the Pan American Games, the same year she made her first appearance in the world rankings, with a 12th in the 100m freestyle. Sterkel strongly kept the momentum going, becoming a member of four U.S. Olympic Teams (1976, 1980, 1984, 1988), the most for any American swimmer in the first 92 years of the modern Olympiad. She won medals at each Olympics in which she competed.

Her first Olympic medal came in 1976 at Montreal when her 4x100m freestyle relay defeated the favored East German team and won the gold medal in the world record time of 3:44.82, with teammates Kim Peyton, Wendy Boglioli and Shirley Babashoff.  Little did the athletes know at the time, but the competitors from East Germany had been under a planned drug doping program for six years. Their female swimmers won every event except two. When the East German drug scandal was exposed 17 years later, it proved their swimmers performances to be unfair, unbalanced and completely against the rules. They had won 11 of 13 gold medals and many silver and bronze medals.

At the 1980 Moscow Games, Jill’s Olympic aspirations were again dampened by another incident out of her control – U.S. President Carter’s boycott of the U.S. Olympic Team from competing in Moscow. Jill was picked to win three gold medals and to be team captain.

But, she could not compete.

Jill’s second gold medal came as a member of the 1984 Olympic 4x100m freestyle relay team (preliminary heat). When the 50m freestyle became an Olympic event in 1988, she tied with Katrin Merssner (GDR) for the bronze medal with a career best time of  25.71 behind Kristen Otto (GDR) and Yang Wenyi (CHN). This was Jill’s fourth Olympic quadrennial. She also received a second bronze medal for swimming the 4x100m freestyle relay – preliminary heat. Sterkel was elected captain of the U.S. Team for three Olympic Games – 1980, 1984, 1988.

Jill started her swimming career as an age group swimmer with coach Don Garmon (1966-1971). She then moved to El Monte Aquatics Team (1971-1979) in her home state of California where she trained under Don LaMont, competing in her first U.S. Nationals at age 12. By 14, she was competing at the 1975 Pan American Games where she won gold as a member of the 4x100m freestyle relay and took home a silver medal in the 100m freestyle. Sterkel was then coached by Hall of Fame coaches Paul Bergen (1979-1983), Richard Quick (1983-1988) and Mark Schubert (1988-1991) while at the University of Texas, Austin.

Sterkel won gold medals at the 1978 World Championships (4x100m freestyle relay) and the 1979 Pan American Games (14x100m freestyle and medley relays) where she also won a silver in the 100m freestyle.

She competed at the 1982 World Championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador, winning silver medals in both relays and a bronze in the 100m freestyle. At the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas, Jill won the gold on the freestyle relay. All totaled, Jill won 20 U.S. National Championships and 21 NCAA/AIAW National Championships while swimming for the University of Texas Longhorns.

Not only was Jill a great swimmer, she was also a member of the 1986 U.S. National Water Polo Team that won a bronze medal at the Madrid World Championships. From 1986 to 1991, Jill was assistant women’s swim coach at the University of Texas, and head coach from 1992 to present. “I am glad and proud to be able to give girls growing up in the sport some sort of example to follow…,” Jill Sterkel said in a 2001 USA Today interview. One of the first females to break into the USA Swimming coaching hierarchy to coach at the World Championship level, Sterkel is “an American swimming legend,” said Dale Neuburger, USA Swimming President, “and she’s already distinguished herself as one of our country’s foremost coaches.”

Jill Sterkel’s accolades continue to flow. She won nearly every award available in swimming, from Olympic gold to the Broderick Cup U.S. National Female Athlete of the Year and a Texas-record 28 All-America honors. She was named assistant women’s swimming coach for the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg and the 2001 World Championships in Fukuoka.

Sterkel has had a profound impact on the Texas women’s swimming program. She placed two swimmers on Olympic teams: Whitney Hedgepath (1996) winning silver medals in the 100m and 200m backstrokes and gold on the 4x100m medley relay – preliminary heat and Erin Phenix (2000) winning gold on the 4x100m freestyle relay – preliminary heat. Sterkel was inducted into the Texas Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor and was the 2000 Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year.

Happy Birthday DICK JOCHUMS !!!

Dick Jochums (USA)
2017 Honor Coach


Dick’s journey to the Swimming Hall of Fame began when his mother insisted he learn to swim. His first swim teacher and coach was Laurabelle Bookstaver, of the Berkeley Women’s City Club. Under the tutelage of this tough talking woman, Dick fell in love with the sport. He earned a scholarship to the University of Washington where John Tallman turned him into an All-American sprinter and took him on as his assistant. Leaving Washington to continue his studies at Cal, he joined Pete Cutino’s staff as his assistant. Over the years he had studied the methods of George Haines, Sherm Chavoor, Peter Daland and Jim Counsilman and after receiving his Ph. D., accepted the coaching and teaching position at UC Hayward. It was at Hayward where Dr. Robert Morford led him to discover the ancient Greek concept of Agon and Areté - the struggle and the victory.

Jochums believed his athletes had to understand and enthusiastically accept that sport, like life, is a process - a struggle to deal with and overcome the pain, the mental and physical hardships and boredom of preparation before they could achieve victory, or Areté. The process, or Agon, might not always lead to a gold medal, but the self-discipline and mastery of self would bring its own reward. This philosophy of life would become the foundation of his success as a coach.

After Hayward, Jochums took a teaching job at Long Beach State, where Don Gambril had selected him to be his successor at the school and with the Long Beach Swim Club. It was here, in the era of American male swimming dominance, that Dr. Dick Jochums, the former sprinter, would become the USA’s middle distance guru at Long Beach, at the University of Arizona and finally at the Santa Clara Swim Club, before retiring in 2007.

Among his swimmers are two Hall of Famers: Tim Shaw and Bruce Furniss. At one time, Shaw simultaneously held the world record in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle and in 1975 won the coveted James E. Sullivan Award as the nation’s outstanding amateur athlete. That same year his Long Beach Swim Club team of Rex Favero, Bruce Furniss, Tim Shaw and Steve Furniss set the world record in the 4x 200m freestyle relay. It was the last club team to ever hold a world relay record. In 1976, seven Jochums-coached swimmers represented the USA at the Olympic Games in Montreal, including five, who won medals: Bruce Furniss, Tim Shaw, Dan Harrigan, Steve Gregg and Jack Babashoff. In 1980, Bob Jackson had the fastest backstroke times in the world and Greg Jagenburg was the world champion in the 100m butterfly, but neither got to swim in the Olympics because of the US boycott. In 1984, George Di Carlo won gold in the 400m freestyle and silver in the 1500m freestyle, while breaststroker Peter Evans won double bronze medals swimming for Australia. In 2000, he coached Tom Wilkens to a bronze medal in 200m IM. His teams won eight USA National Long Course Championships and one combined (men’s and women’s) National Title.

Happy Birthday JUDY McGOWAN !!!

Judy McGowan (USA)

2009 Honor Contributor/Synchronized Swimming


Since 1953, Judy has been active as a synchronized swimming competitor, coach, judge and most importantly, administrator nationally and internationally. 

In her younger days of competition in the City of Baltimore she was coached by 1912 British Olympic gold medalist and Hall of Famer Belle Moore Cameron and then Dot Muhly. It all helped to prepare her for the many years of commitment and service she gave to the sport. 

In 1974, she was the U.S. delegate to the First International Conference on Synchronized Swimming in Ottawa and then elected to chair the International Judges Study Group from 1974 to 1984. In 1979, she was editor and primary author of the First International Training Manual for Synchronized Swimming Judges. She organized the Second International Conference on Synchronized Swimming in 1979 in Washington, DC. 

Six years later in 1984, she became the first woman ever appointed to chair a FINA committee, the Technical Synchronized Swimming Committee (TSSC) on which she served for twelve years, eight as chairman. During her tenure, she innovated and improved judging and scoring procedures, initiated development clinics around the world and developed training materials. In 1988, she edited the first FINA Judging Manual, revising it in 1992. She chaired the FINA – TSSC Ad Hoc Committee on Degrees of Difficulty and authored its report, which established an asystematic approach to assigning degrees of difficulty to FINA figures. She developed the first video tape series for training international routine judges by writing the script, selecting video clips, designing the format, and doing the video voice-over. She also wrote a teaching manual to accompany the tapes. She drafted the first rules and guidelines for technical routines and organized the first FINA Coaching Symposium for elite synchro coaches in 1992 at Olympia,Greece. 

As an international clinician, she conducted or served 37 international clinics around heworldincluding Argentina, Australia (3), Brazil, Canada (2), China, Columbia (3), Cuba, Dominican Republic (2), Finland, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea (2) Mexico (2), Puerto Rico (2), Russia, Soviet Union, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, USA (7), and Venezuela. 

On the home front, she was the Founding President of U.S. Synchronized Swimming where she incorporated the organization, hired the first executive director and established the national office (1977 – 1984). During this time the USSS National Team Program, National Age Group Championships and Masters programs began; and the concept for the first USSS Coaches Certification Program was developed.

She became the chairman of the U.S.Olympic Committee Task Force to investigate the status of Coaches Education in the United States for Pan American and Olympic Sports. All recommendations were subsequently adopted including the establishment of a USOC Coaching Education Program. From 1984 to 1988, she chaired the Coaches Education Committee, organizing the first coaching education seminars for the USOC. She became a member of the USOC Executive Board from 1980 1984 and was appointed by USOC president Bill Simon as the liaison for the Athletes Advisory Council. 

McGowan served as an international judge at the 1984, 2000 Olympic Games, serving as Chief Olympic Referee in 1988, 1992 and Competition Manager in 1996. She was a judge at the 1978, 1998, 2005 World Championships; 1979, 1997,1999 World Cups; 1993, 1997, 2002, 2004 Jr World Championships and 1979, 1983, 1987, 1999, 2003 Pan American Games. She served as Chief Referee at the 1986, 1991 World Championships; 1985, 1987, 1989,1991 World Cups and 1989, 1991 Jr Worlds. She was the competition manager at the 1995 World Cup and was the U.S. Chef de Mission at the 1982 World Championships.

Happy Birthday BRUCE FURNISS !

Happy Birthday BRUCE FURNISS !

FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1976 gold (200m freestyle; 1 relay); WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1975 gold (relay), silver (200m, 400m freestyle); 1978 gold (relay); WORLD RECORDS: 10 (200m freestyle; 200m individual medley; 5 relays); AMERICAN RECORDS: 19 (200m, 200yd freestyle; 200m, 200yd, 400yd individual medley; 9 relays); AAU CHAMPIONSHIPS: 11 (200yd, 500yd freestyle; 200m, 400yd individual medley); 7 relays); NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: 6 (200yd freestyle; 4 relays); KIPHUTH AWARD: 1975, 1976.

Bruce Furniss coped with painful arthritis using swimming as a remedial exercise.  That he enjoyed himself during a twelve year career and turned his therapy into a successful competitive swimming career is an understatement.  This younger brother of Pan American champion and world record holder, Steve Furniss, set out to own the 200 meters.  He won two Olympic gold medals in world and Olympic record times in the 200 and in the 800 freestyle relays at Montreal and broke his brother Steve's world record in the 200 individual medley.  Twice he was high point winner at the U.S. Nationals and twice he was picked as World Swimmer of the Year in the 200 freestyle and individual medley.  His world record total of ten included both 400 and 800 freestyle relays at the World Championships in Berlin.  He added 19 American records including ten in yard distances which were the world's fastest times.

Bruce, as an age grouper under Tom DeLong, Flip Darr and Jon Urbanchek, as a Senior National AAU swimmer with Dick Jochums, and as a college swimmer with Peter Daland, certainly added to the reputation of these distinguished coaches.  During much of Bruce Furniss' career he swam tired, without the benefit of a good night's sleep.  On trips he usually roomed with his best pal, Tim Shaw, a character who rarely needed more than six hours sleep and did most of his talking to roommates late at night.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020


Join ISHOF Crew, CEO Brent Rutemiller, Complex Manager, Laura Voet, and ISHOF Honoree Rowdy Gaines........YAY!!! Get complex updates and hear about all the NEW PLANS!!!!!
Coaches' Happy Hour
Tune in to watch live
SwimmerJoe plans to go live.
This week we’ll be looking into the greatest place in the world to swim: the Hall of Fame Pool! Join Joe and Sid as they welcome several special guests:
-Olympic Gold Medalist and hall of fame member Rowdy Gaines,
-The Hall of Fame Aquatic Complex Manager, Laura Voet
-The construction project manager for the pool, Greg Jennings
-The CEO of International Swimming Hall of Fame Brent Rutemiller
Tune in Wednesday at 7 pm for a sneak peek!