History of Yale Swimming & Diving

Since its inception in 1898, the Yale swimming and diving program has produced numerous champion athletes. Many Yale swimmers have gone on to earn All-American honors and even break world records. The team has won 4 NCAA championships, 30 EISL championships, and several AAU championships. Under legendary coach Robert J. H. Kiphuth, the Yale men swam to a record of 528 wins and 12 losses. As of February 2009, the men's program has what may be the winningest record of any sports team ever: 1058 wins, 204 losses over 111 years. The first varsity women's team competed in 1975.

Bob Kiputh

Simply put, Bob Kiphuth was the most outstanding coach this country has ever known. The Yale men established an incredible overall dual-meet record of 528 wins and 12 losses, and won the Intercollegiate Swimming Association (later the Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League) Championship a remarkable 36 times in 40 years. The glory years also featured four NCAA championships, 14 Amateur Athletic Union titles and 35 undefeated seasons.

Phil Moriarty

Memorial Celebration Booklet
compiled by Ed Bettendorf '70
Historical Photos taken and compiled by John Lapides '72

Kiphuth Memorial Exhibition Pool

Built in 1932 and located in the west wing of Payne Whitney Gymnasium, the Robert Kiphuth Memorial Exhibition Pool is the home of Yale swimming. Named for Yale's famous swimming coach and former athletic director who was involved with the Gym for over 35 years, the 25-yard, six-lane pool was designed for intercollegiate competition.

The pool sits at the bottom of a 50-foot high funnel of 2,187 seats which rise at an angle of 45 degrees and offer every spectator a perfect view of the action below. This is augmented by the fact that the 157-foot wide ceiling is held aloft without the aid of supporting columns - no easy engineering feat in the 1930's.

The architects designed the seating so it was entered by a series of tunnels, through each of which no more than 35 people need pass. That way, no more than three steps had to be climbed to reach any seat. Under the seats are air ducts which bring fresh air into the arena without lowering the temperature at poolside.

In the deep end of the pool is an underwater "coaching window." Actually, the window was put in after World War II, when Alistair Cooke came to Yale to film a television special on the history of swimming. Esther Williams, the famous swimmer, put on an exhibition for the cameras; the window was to show her, and some of the Yale swimmers who participated, while underwater.

The pool has been the site for numerous national competitions, including the NCAA and AAU championships, but one of the greatest events staged in this arena occurred in 1992 when Yale, Harvard, and Princeton competed in a double-dual meet for the first time ever.
Yale's other pool, the practice pool, is the world's largest suspended natatorium. On the third floor of the gym, it holds 330,000 gallons of water, weighing 2.75 million pounds, and it includes a movable bulkhead which allows it to be used as either a 25-yard, 25-meter, or 50-meter course.

Current Coaches

Jim Henry - Women's Coach
Tim Wise - Men's Coach
Chris Bergère - Diving Coach
Kevin Norman - Assistant Coach
Danielle Korman - Assistant Coach

Past Coaches

Thomas O'Callahan
(1906-1915) 47-14
Matthew Mann
(1915-1917) 17-3
Robert J. H. Kiphuth
(1917-1959) 528-12
Philip Moriarty
(1959-1976) 195-25
Edward L. Bettendorf
(1976-1977) 8-3
Paul Katz
(1977-1978) 3-7
Frank P. Keefe

(1978-2010) 241-127

Cristina Teuscher - Women's Coach    (2011-2012)
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