David Anderson Contributed to this report:
Cal Bentz passed today at his home in Lincoln, Nebraska – July 4th, 2017. Over the last week or so as Cal’s health began to deteriorate, many alumni and friends posted kind thoughts and reflections about this Midwestern swimming legend. Many of the notes recalled his humor, fiery competitiveness, thoughtfulness, caring and how much each owed to this coach. He was at the forefront of technology, the implementation of new ideas and he embraced speed and power.
A selection of social media posts about Bentz are below:
Bentz’s bio from the Greater Nebraska Swim Team is below:
Coach Bentz had more than 50 years of coaching experience including 24 years as Head Coach of Swimming and Diving at the University of Nebraska; and 22 years as a high school coach, club coach and teacher. His collegiate men’s teams produced more than 100 NCAA All Americans and the women’s program produced more than 80 NCAA All Americans. Under Coach Bentz, Nebraska teams won 16 men’s conference titles and 5 women’s conference titles in swimming and diving. More than 20 Olympians from all over the world competed for Nebraska under Coach Bentz.
During his tenure at Omaha Westside High School, Coach Bentz’ boys and girls teams won 16 state championship titles. In 1976, the Omaha World Herald named Coach Bentz, “Nebraska High School Coach of the Year.” He was a long time member and past president of the Nebraska High School Coaches’ Association and in 1997 was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame. In 2005, he was inducted into the Westside High School’s Coaches’ Night of Distinction. In November 2008, he was inducted into the Midwestern Swimming Hall of Fame.
Coach Bentz was a four year letterman in swimming, team captain his junior and senior years and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1955. While coaching at Nebraska he was honored as an Alumnus of the Year and in 1992 he was presented the UNL Parents Association Recognition Award for Contribution to Students. Coach Bentz has coached and taught, provided competitive swimming camps and clinics in Nebraska and the Midwest for 54 years. He has worked extensively in fundamental swimming skill development, dry-land and core body strength development and seasonal, periodic and daily workout design. He has also served as a volunteer coach for the Kearney, Nebraska High School Swimming Team.