Dick Kimball (U-M Diving) Article & Video

Submitted by Everyone Murders on September 13th, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Link: http://michigantoday.umich.edu/story.php?id=8454

Michigan Today has a video and brief article on long-time Michigan diving coach Dick Kimball (1959, 1960MA).  Many will remember that Kimball had an illustrious diving career, including winning the NCAA springboard championships (1 and 3 meter) in 1957 and the professional world diving championship in 1963.  (Professional diving? Yep.)

Kimball coached diving at Michigan from 1958 (Fritz Crisler hired him!) through 2002 and coached the 1964, 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympic diving teams.  Kimball was a member of Michigan's 1957-59 NCAA championship swimming and diving teams.

Kimball's son Bruce was an Olympian whose career largely tracked Greg Louganis's - unfortunately Bruce was involved in a horrible automobile accident (Bruce was at fault) that overshadowed an illustrious diving career of his own.  Bruce won a silver medal in 1984.  [Edit - had it as 1992 in original]

Other notable Olympians under Kimball's direct coaching included gold medalists Bob Webster (1960 and 1964), Micki King (1972), Phil Boggs (1976) and Mark Lenzi (1992).  Kimball was a fixture around Ann Arbor throughout his coaching career, and by the looks of the video is still coming in at about a 9.5 out of 10 on the Red Berenson I May Be Seventy-Something Years Old But I Can Still Kick Your Ass, Son Scale (RBIMBS-SYOBICSKYAS Scale - for short).

Kimball was a strong proponent of women's swimming and diving, and volunteered as an assistant coach after his retirement.

A nice salute to a great member of the Michigan family.  And the video is terrific, showing he's still a great athlete.  [Edit - now with embed!]




September 13th, 2012 at 3:49 PM ^

Bruce is a high school coach for diving and freshman women's water polo at a Chicago suburb high school. He finished college at U of I, Chicago. The local high school has produced more sports championships than any other Illinois high school including 22 swim state championships.

Bruce is a recovering alcoholic and gives an annual speech to the entire school about drinking. He is married and has three kids according to wiki.

One on my daughters was on the swim team and said nothing but good things about him. She did not know about his past or his father.

Sometimes second chances work out. Bruce is doing good work now.


September 13th, 2012 at 3:52 PM ^

According to Wikipedia, Bruce is teaching and a dive coach in Illinois.

I'll never forget the Ohio State game.  While milling abou the field before holding the banner for the football team, Kimball, looking like he was shot out of a cannon, had a beautiful diving tackle on the Ohio mascot.  SHE then started beating him with the bent OSU flag pole until a bunch of others broke it up.  The Daily voted it best open-field tackle in its best of year-end issue.


September 13th, 2012 at 4:46 PM ^

My father was a pretty good diver in college, and he got to know Mr. Kimball when we moved into the area in '59.  He taught us trampoline moves when we were kids.  I was pretty young, but I do recall being frightened by his intensity.


September 13th, 2012 at 11:59 PM ^

Was trying to find a video of Dick performing something he called the "Atomic" (pretty sure that's right, memory is a little foggy) -- it was performed on a 3m springboard where he would do a reverse flip, land back on the board and then do a 1 1/2 forward dive.  It was in the mid 90s when I saw him do it which puts him in his 50s at least, so pretty impressive.  Instead, I found this old video from the 60s which is also pretty entertaining: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8kY-sVkv1Q 

The atomic was something like the ending of the triple lindy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDMMYT3vkTk