Unlike Texas Basketball, Football, Track,And Baseball There Are Very Few Books That Discuss Longhorn swimming.  I Hope With Time This Site Can Add Some Historical Insight And Tell The Full And Compelling Story Of The Texas swimming Tradition. 

Please visit WETS to learn more about Longhorn swimming. The link is denoted in red font below.

http://www.wetswim.org/about-us/founders-page/

WETS (Working Exes for Texas Swimming)  was organized in 1968 when a group of former Longhorn swimmers, divers and coaches, headed by Tex Robertson, met to promote University of Texas aquatic excellence. The initial goals of WETS were to honor the past accomplishments of UT swimmers and divers; promote the present and future success of Texas Swimming and Diving, and to Provide a common forum for all former Texas swimmers, divers, coaches, and fans to gather and stay connected. 

 

I can weather storms and enjoy the sunshine knowing I will never lose - I either win or learn.

I can weather storms and enjoy the sunshine knowing I will never lose - I either win or learn.

A condensed bullet point history of Texas Longhorn Swimming follows. Please go to the "credit" section of this website to view books you can purchase from many fine book stores about Texas Longhorn Sports, or please visit the official University of Texas Longhorn site Texassports.com for more detailed information.  

The Texas Longhorn men's swimming teams have won 14 National Champions, and the Women's  have won 9 .  No other Longhorn sport comes close to the success of the Longhorn swimming.

The reigns of the men's swimming program are transferred to another wise Coach- Hank Chapman

 

Coach Hank Chapman 1951-1972

 

  • Inducted HOH: 1982

  • 1940 All-American and SWC 3-meter diving champion

  • Coaches  more than 20 All-American swimmers and divers

  •  1964 U.S. Olympic diving coach

  •  Receives Distinguished Coach Award from College Swimming Coaches Association

  • He dedicates himself to teaching P.E. and swimming at UT and in Austin for almost 50 years

  • Tutors David "Skippy" Browning to four NCAA titles and 1952 Olympic gold medal

  • Guides UT to three SWC championships and 14 SWC runner-up finishes during his 20 seasons

The Hank Chapman Endowed Scholarship in Swimming was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on January 24, 2000, for the benefit of Intercollegiate Athletics. Gift funds were provided by Mrs. Carol F. Heller of Dallas, Texas, a 1962 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business and Mr. Jeffrey M. Heller of Dallas, Texas, a 1968 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. The endowment honors Mr. Hank Chapman of Austin, Texas.

Unfortunately Coach Chapmans teams were dominated by SMU and his teams got the reputations as the Avis of the SWC.  They try  harder but always finish 2nd.

 

1951- Coach Hank Chapman Pending more information

 

This was the 18th of 20 SWC championships for the Longhorns.  Won 3 of 4 events against California teams.   This team set 4 SWC records 

Eddie Gilbert, Skippy Browning, Frank Campbell are All Americans

1952- Coach Hank Chapman Team wins SWC

Lou Manganiell, Wynant Wilson, Roger Tolar, and Bill Hoff were the leaders of the swim team. 

Skippy Browning, Bobby Brodnax are All Americans (no pictures).  Team wins SWC 

 

1953-Coach Hank Chapman Pending more information

Team finishes 2nd in conference .

Brodnax took 3rd at Nationals. He is a three time All American.

 

 

 

 

 

TOPPING THE CHARTS 1953

 

 

 

 

1954-Coach Hank Chapman

Second in conference behind SMU.

 

1955- Coach Hank Chapman SWC Champions Pending more information

1955- Coach Hank Chapman SWC Champions

At the SWC meet The Texas Tankers took the top 4 spots in the 440 and the top 3 spots in the 1500 meter.  Charlton Hadden was the high point man at the SWC meet.   Joe Lee Neal and Richard Lawler were the other victors.  Longhorns had on average at least two men in each individual race at the SWC meet.   

Swimming 1955 (5).jpg

First Row- Schmucker, Patton- Second Row- Bonner, Wengert, Johnson, Huber

Third row- Hadden (Captain) Perkins, Patterson, anderson, Englehardt 

Fourth row- Medinilla, Neal, Nolan, Benz, Baker, Fennekohl, Schoelkopf (manager)

http://www.tsdhof.org/dotson-smith

Dotson received the TSDHOF Lifetime Achievement Award

In 1955 Dotson is invited to swim at UT Austin, and after graduating in 1961, he is hired as coach at the Austin Aquatic Club. He also coaches in Mission, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi and retires from Texas public schools in 2011. In his 45 years coaching career in Texas schools, he produces numerous state champions and several UIL swim teams to state championships. He also served as vice-president of TISCA (1967), president of TAGS (1968) and AAU (1976), and has received numerous honors for his contributions to Texas swimming. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top of the Chart in 1955

 

 

 

Patterson, who is the UT team captain in 1955, is the first Longhorn to break 50 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle. Patterson is also instrumental in the design and construction of the UT Swim Center.  

 

1956-  Coach Hank Chapman 2nd in SWC

Swimming 1956 (24).jpg

First row- Million, Lawler, Second row- Barden, Johnson, Bell, Patterson, Huber, Wilson

Third row- Neal, Perkins, Medinilla, Holder, Holsombach, Nolan and Harris 

Fourth row- Chapman, Smith, LeBourgeois, Griffith

 

 

 

 

Richard Lawler- All American 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1957 Coach Hank Chapman Pending more information

Swimming 1957 (17).jpg

Eddie Johnson- All American (no pictures)

1958-Coach Hank Chapman 2nd in the SWC

Swimming  1961 (26).jpg

 

 

Top of the Charts

 

 

 

 

 

 

1959-Coach Hank Chapman Second in conference

Charles Lucas sets a new pool record in the 200 backstroke.  Heller sets two new pool records.  Lucas, Duwe, and Catlett set new SWC marks. This  year there are more Longhorn All Americans than  any previous year -Lucas, Heller, Duwe and Catlett. 

Swimming 1959 (1).jpg

 

 

 

TOPPING THE CHARTS 1959

 

 

 

 

 

1960 Coach Hank Chapman 2nd in the SWC

 

Jeff Heller is the holder of 4 Longhorn team UT records.  Bob Taylor wins two events at the SWC meet. Texas qualifies 7 individuals for the NCAA meet but none placed. 

Jerry Katz is an All American

Swimming 1960 (29).jpg

1961-Coach Hank Chapman  2nd in the SWC by one yard

 

Team took 4 individual first at the SWC meet.  Heller, Worthington, Lucas and Duwe  (in a new SWC times)  led the way.  At the AAU meet the Longhorns failed to pick up any first place finishes, but Duwe, Worthington , and the Longhorn 4oo medley relay managed to set 3 pool records. 

Swimming 1961 (70).jpg

Jim Willerson HOH

 

1962-Coach Hank Chapman 2nd in the SWC.Pending more information

 

Gordon Beavers is the only Longhorn winner at the SWC meet winning the 1 and 3 meter dives. 

Bud Beavers is an All American (no picture)

1963- Coach Hank Chapman Pending more information

Jay Smith sets the school record in the 200 and 500 free.  Beaver wins both diving events at the AAU swim meet while Spears wins the 200 butterfly.  At Nationals Beaver places 4th in the 1 meter and 6th in the 3 meter diving events as Spears finishes 5th in the 200 butterfly. 

George Spear, Carroll Henderson are All Americans

 

1964-Coach Hank Chapman Pending more information

Swimming 1964 (2).jpg

 

George Spear is an All American 

 

 

 

Top of the Charts

 

 

 

 

 

1965-  Coach Hank Chapman Pending more information

Jim Spillane- All American  (no picture)

1966- Coach Hank Chapman Pending more information

  

Steve Boss, Gary Langendoen, Jim Spillane, Greg Thompson, Chuck Worrell are All Americans 

1967-Coach Hank Chapman Pending more information

Swim team is 2nd at the SWC meet to a great SMU team. The Horns set 9 school records and Gary Langendoen set a conference record in the 100  yard butterfly.  The team place 20th out of 66 at the national meet. 

 

                  Top of the Charts

 

1968-  Coach Hank Chapman Pending more information

Finishes 2nd to SMU in the SWC championship

 

Dana Curtis - All American (looking for picture)



1969-Coach Hank Chapman 4-2 in dual meets pending more information

For the 12th year in a row the Longhorns are 2nd to SMU. Captain Dana Curtis sets a new standard in the 500 for the SWC.  Gerry Shoemaker was a double winner at the SWC meet and 4 Longhorns participate in the NCAA meet- Curtis, Ligon, DuRapau, and Ravel.      

1970-Coach Hank Chapman Pending more information

Team finishes 2nd to SMU and does not do well at the NCAA meet.  Bruce Robinson broke the SWC record in the 400 individual medley, and two school marks in the 200 I.M. and 200 back stroke.  Salzhandler broke the SWC 200 breast. Steve McFarland, Robinson, and Salzhandler made the NCAA cut .  In a dual meet with SMU the Longhorns were embarrassed.  (looking for individual pictures of swim leaders)

 

Frank Salzhandler and Bruce Robinson are All Americans (looking for pictures)

1971- 1972 Coach Hank Chapman Pending more information

 

 

 

Felipe Munoz and Donnie Vick are All Americans (Looking for pictures)

 

 

 Coach Pat Patterson Pending More information

 

 

Pat Patterson 

  • Inducted into HOH in 2010;

  • A three-year letterman at Texas and team captain in 1956;

  • One of the leading scorers at the 1955 SWC championship meet ;

  • Begins his head coaching career in 1961 at Rice University;

  • Coaches at Arkansas, Texas A&M, and then back to Texas in 1971;

  • During his seven seasons as a head coach at Texas, he produces 21 SWC Champions and 12 All-Americans;

  • Was instrumental in the formation and development of the first University of Texas Women's Swimming team;

  • Pat Patterson is the right leader at the right time as Coach Patterson struggles to convince the UT administration to increase coaching salaries,, travel expenses, and scholarships, and his strict dress and hair code standards causes friction between the coaches and swimmers.

  • The dream of a new state of the art swimming facility is close to reality;

  • Women's and men's swimming is  on the rise. 

 

 

1973  Coach Patterson 

 

Patterson chooses not to rest his swimmers before dual meets so they swam tired.  Three Longhorns win  at the SWC meet.  Steve McFarland a diver did well at the SWC meet and   Bruce Robinson and Frank  Salzhandler maintained their winning momentum from the previous year.

Three divers qualified for the  NCAA meet- McFarland, Holloway, and Vick.   

Bob Clothworth is hired as diving coach and Ron Heubner is hired as stroke coach

The swim team finishes 2nd again to SMU. The Horns are the Avis of the SWC.  They try  harder but still finish 2nd.   Times are about to change .

The Horns set  11 school records  and 5 SWC records and manage to win 10 of 18 events at the SWC championship meet.

In 1972 the Horns lose to SMU by 376 points in 1973 they lost by 119 points. 

 

 

1974- Coach Pat Patterson Pending More information

 

1975- Coach Pat Patterson Pending More information

15th at Nationals

Texas ends SMU's 19 year dual meet win record against the Horns 63-50.  The team broke 12 of 13 school record this year. 

Guy Hagstette, Jamie Baird, Bob Rachner, Dick Worrel are All Americans

1976- Coach Pat Patterson Pending More information

Patterson wanders why the Athletic  Council built a $6,000,000 swimming facility and then says that due to budget restraints will not allow the swim team the maximum number of swimming scholarships .  The NCAA allows 19 swimming scholarships and the Horns only offer 14.

Texas finishes 2nd to SMU. It is the 20th consecutive time that SMU is SWC champion.  Even though this team was considered the best ever at this point in Longhorn history only 3 swimmers scored at nationals.  The Horns finished 20th at nationals.

Guy Hagstette sets two SWC swimming records and the relay team took 9 seconds off the SWC record in the 440 I.M.  

Brent Barker, Darrell Fick, Jeff Krumweide are All Americans

 

 

1977- Coach Pat Patterson Pending More information

The new pool opens and is the high tech wander of the United States. 

Ken Armstrong enrolled at the University of Texas after competing for Canada in the 1976 Olympics. After two successful season with the Longhorns and another Olympic team selection in 1980, he begins his coaching career. Armstrong is selected as head coach for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, where Woodlands diver and TSDHOF inductee Laura Wilkinson wins the Olympic gold medal in the women’s 10-meter platform event. This was the first Olympic diving gold medal for a U.S. woman in that event since 1964. He has been a member of every U.S. Olympic coaching staff since 2000. 

Below is a letter written by Tex Robertson compliments of Bill Robertson. The letter captures the internal conflict, and decision making process required to hire Coach Reese for Men's swimming and Paul Bergen for Women's swimming.  I separated the letter below  into two parts so the font is larger.  If you don't want to read the letter I have written the bullet points of the letter below:

  • Frank Erwin in 1969 says there would be no new swimming center unless Texas wins the SWC or hires a new coach.

  • SMU had won the SWC 15 times in a row, and Frank Erwin wanted to change those results.

  • Pat Patterson is the answer for the coaching change.

  • In 1973 Betty Thompson the women's sports administrator ask Pat Patterson if he would also coach the Women's swim team.

  • While Coach Patterson beat SMU in a dual meet he never beat SMU for the SWC championship. However, there is no question that Coach Patterson’s formula for success is a winner and the team improves dramatically during his years as head swim coach. Coach Patterson laid the foundation necessary to fulfill Frank Erwins demand for a winner before a new swimming center is built.

  • Coach Patterson resigns in 1978 on great terms with UT, and he is instrumental in the the hiring of Coach Reese and Coach Paul Bergen.

  • Coach Patterson's coaching choices result in National Championships for men's and women's swimming team four years later in 1981.

 

Rooster Andrews and Wally Pryor were also on the cc: list of the letter written by Tex Robertson . This letter represent an historic moment for the Longhorn swimming program, but unfortunately the copy is tough to read. In the future I hope to get a better copy.

1978  Coach Pat Patterson Pending More information