If you were watching the 2014 Men’s NCAA Championships this week in Austin, Texas, you may have noticed a mightily mustacheoed man walking around in Cal blue and gold on deck all weekend; but it wasn’t Mark Spitz, Rollie Fingers, or Ron Burgundy you saw. It was 2nd-year Cal assistant coach Yuri Suguiyama who was sporting that fine example of facial hair.
Here’s how the story goes. Suguiyama started his growth in November of 2013 as a part of the ‘Movember’ campaign that works to raise awareness and funds for important men’s health initiatives.
But then, he just kept going. Suguiyama blew through December, January, and February with the beard, and made it all the way through the Pac-12 Championships. The week after Pac-12’s, he shaved it down to a mustache and had his swimmers vote on whether to go with a ‘clean shave’ or to leave his lip hugger in tact.
I don’t think it will come as much surprise to our readers that they voted overwhelmingly to leave it on, and so Suguiyama wore it all the way through, onto national television, and on to a National Championship in Austin.
We talked to Suguiyama after the meet, and while he quipped that it had “grown on him,” he was hesitant to commit to the Tom Selek look as a long-term life decision.