Dick Kimball Returning to Michigan Staff as Volunteer; Brings 50 Years of Experience

The Michigan Wolverines have brought in reinforcements to support first-year diving coach Mike Hilde in the form of former head coach Dick Kimball, who will return from a four-year hiatus as a volunteer diving coach for the Wolverines.

Kimball is the definition of University of Michigan diving. He was the program’s head coach from 1960-2002, and spent 8 seasons as a volunteer assistant from 2003-2010. In total, that puts 50 years with the Wolverines on his resume, and that’s just as a coach.

Kimball’s resume is a long one and includes earning the 1984 NCAA Diving Coach of the Year award for both men and women, and the 1988 NCAA Diving Coach of the Year award for just women. He coached 9 Olympic medal winners, including athletes that tallied 5 gold medals. He was personally on the American Olympic staffs in 1964, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, and foreign staffs in 1968 and 1996.

Prior to coaching there, he was a three-time NCAA Champion diver for Michigan as part of three consecutive national team championships. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame and Michigan Hall of Honor in 1985, and that was some 17 years before officially retiring as the program’s head coach.

Even after ceasing his roll as a volunteer assistant in 2010, Kimball remained an active face on deck at the Canham Natatorium. Last September, at 78-years old, he rode a bike off of the 10-meter platform at Michigan’s Water Carnival.

Hilde was hired this summer from the Mission Viejo diving program and was a part of the USA staff at the FINA World Junior Championships in Russia in September. Former head coach KZ Li resigned in April and has since taken over the diving program at Louisville.

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7 years ago

I remember his son Bruce Kimball diving for Michigan in the early 80’s.

7 years ago

I’m not sure Hilde needs any reinforcements on the coaching side of things, but Kimball could very well help him maneuver through the maze of NCAA rules. Hilde is young but proved to be a huge asset to the Nadadores diving team while learning the ropes under the tutalage of 2 time Olympian Janet Ely. Kimball is an incredible coach and can pull spotting belts like a 20 year old!! Between the two of them, it will be interesting to see what they do with the dive team this season.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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