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December 08, 1953 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1953-12-08

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r WAGE FOUR

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

ITCESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1953

RAGE FOUR U~ESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1953

Mann Starting
Venerable Swimming Coach
Winding Up Colorful Career

's

..-Last

Season

CO-CAPTAINS NATATORS:
Winning Titles'Old Story' to Benner

By LEW HAMBURGER
This is Matt Mann's last year
at Michigan, and it's going to be
good.
When the stately man with the
broad smile and white hair leaves,
he will take with him one of the
most revered records in swimming
history. In his 28 years as coach
at Michigan, Mann has won 16
Big Ten titles, 13 National Colle-
giate championships, and one
AAU crown.
HE HAS, IN ADDITION, receiv-
ed numerous other honors and
awards. Adorning the wall of his
office, alongside photographs of
his National and Olympic cham-
pions, is a life membership in
the AAU and a merit award from
Beach and Pool magazine for
his editorial contributions during
1938.
In 1952 Mann received the
highest honor that can be paid
a coach when he was chosen to
coach the United States Olympic
team at Helsinki. By winning
the big meet, he earned for him-
self the title of "miracle coach
of swimming."
Winning is nothing new to Matt
Mann, however. At the age of nine
he captured the boys' swimming
championship of England, and by
the time he was 16 he was the
British Empire freestyle champ.
He came to the U.S. in 1906, after
a year's stay in Toronto.
HE SAYS SINCERELY of his
move to this country, "There's
nothing in the world like these
United States-I know. The $8
head-tax I paid on entering this
country is the best money I ever
spent in my life."
His coaching career was.
launched after the AAU, of
which he knew nothing at the
time, suspended him for "swim-
ming in a foreign country with-
out a permit.' He decided to
turn pro and coach Central High
School in Buffalo, where he had
been living.
He won the state high school
championship soon after and
moved to the University of Syra-
cuse in 1908. After this he coach-
ed at Brookline High School
in Brookline, Massachusetts and

turned out national champion-
ship teams for two consecutive
years. It was here that he insti-
tuted the swim-for-all plan where-
by all boys and girls from the
fourth through eighth grades who
are physically able, are taught to
swim.
HIS NEXT MOVE was in 1916
when he became coach of the New
York Athletic Club. During his
three year stay there he also jour-
neyed three times weekly to Yale
to direct its team. Under his dir-
ection Yale went undefeated and
the Yale relay teams established
world records.
Then, after more success at
Duluth, Minnesota Boat Club
and the Detroit Athletic Club,
Matt Mann came to Michigan.
Since that time his name has
become synonimous with the
school when swimming is men-
tioned.
Some of his outstanding swim-
mers over the years have been:
Paul Samson, 1928 Olympics; Gar-
net Ault, 1928 Canadian Olympic
team; James Cristy, 1932-36 Olym-
pic team; Dick Degener, 1936
Olympic diving champion; Jack
Kasley, world record holder for
the 100 breast stroke; Taylor
Drysdale, 1936 Olympics; Tom
Haynie, world 150-yard medley
champion; and John Davies, 1952
Olympic breast stroke champ.
* * *
THIS YEAR'S squad is led by
co-captains Tom Benner and Don
Hill, 1953 National Collegiate 50-
yard champion. These two, along
with Burwell "Bumpy" Jones, 1953
National Collegiate 150-yard med-
ley champion and Burt and Jack
Wardrop, members of Britain's
Olympic team will share the main
burden of the Wolverine swim-
ming load. Ron Gora is also
counted on heavily in the free-
style events and Jim Walters leads
the squad's diving corps.
Mann speaks of this team as
the "best I've ever had" and a
"swell bunch of boys," a "plea-
sure to work with."
He says that the difference be-
tween the great and average swim-
mer is work. The great ones have
the "backbone," the average ones,
the "wishbone."

TOM BENNER
. one of Mann's finest
Sulim Schedule
January
16 Northwestern Univ. (8 p.m.) Here
28 New Trier High School
(Winnetka, I11.) exhibition There
30 Iowa State College.........There
31 Kansas City, A.C. exhibition There
February
1 Tulsa Univ. (exhibition)...There
2 Oklahoma University........There
5 Indianapolis A.C..........There
(exhibition)
6 Purdue Univ. (4:30 p.m.).... Here
13 M. S. C. (8:00 p.m.)..........Here
20 University of Iowa........There
27. Ohio State University ...There
March
4-5-6 Western Conference Meet
25-26-27 N.C.A.A. Meet......Syracuse
* * *
April
3-4-5 NAAU Meet, New Haven, Conn.

By BILL STONE
Tom Benner, co-captain of the
1953-54 Michigan swimming team,
has been a champion since he was
15 years of age.
Wearing the colors of York High
School of York, Pennsylvania,
Benner won the State 100-yard
freestyle title in his sophomore
year. Before he left York High
the Wolverine ace had added the
state 200-yard chafnpionship to
his list of victories, in addition to
being named on the All-American
high school squad three consecu-
tive seasons. In Benner's senior'
year York won the Pennsylvania
State Championship.
** *
BENNER came to Michigan in
the fall of 1950 after serving as a
counselor at Coach Matt Mann's
summer camp. His freshman
year was one of improvement un-
der the watchful eye of Mann,
who was grooming the Pennsyl-
vania flash for Big Ten, and
N.C.A.A. competition.
Benner began his rise to
swimming stardom the next
season as a sophomore. He
finished third in the Big Ten
100-yard free style finals and
combined with Wally Jeffries;
Don Hill and Bumpy Jones, to
make the N.C.A.A. finals. Here
the foursome won the 400-yard
relay trophy, setting a new
Championship meet record. At
the conclusion of the season
Benner was named to the 1951-
52 All - American swimming
team.
As a junior the following season
Benner was one of the mainstays
of a Michigan team that won the
Big Ten dual meet crown.
______________________________II

IN THE N.C.A.A.. championships Whatever the future holds for
Benner, Hill, Jones, and this time the 1953-54 edition of Wolverine
Ron Gora, proved to all skeptics Mermen, co-captain Benner, two
that their triumph of the previous time All-American, stands as a
season wasn't a fluke, as the four cinch to bring continued swim-

sped to a new record in winning
their second straight 400-yard re-
lay title. Once again Benner gain-
ed All-American recognition as
Michigan finished third in the
National Championships.
This yearnthe mechanical en-
gineering major is co-captain
of a team that Maize and Blue
followers feel has the potential
of being one of the greatest
squads ever assembled. Benner
who is to be married this month
already has caught the cham-
pionship bug, but he realizes
that Ohio State and Yale are
not going to roll over and play
dead.
Benner also brought out the
fact that this is Matt Mann's final
year as mentor of the "M" nata-
tors, and that the entire squad
wants to present the National
Championship to their beloved
coach as a cushion to retire on.

ming fame to himself and the
University of Michigan.
DID YOU KNOW . . . that
Burwell "Bumpy" Jones and Ron
Gora, members of the current
Wolverine swimming squad, were
named to the 1952 All America
swimming team.
Help Fight TB
Buy Christmas Seals

k.

MATT MANN-Congratulating three of his boys who have just
won another meet. This photograph, taken in 1945, depicts a
scene which has been re-enacted many many times throughout
Mann's long and successful career.

Freshmen Prospects Insure
Future for Wolverine Tankers
By DICK BUCK

Usually after a few years with Birmingham, Michigan product,
championship or near-champion- shape up as the best diving pros-
ship teams it is natural to expect pects.
a let-down, but with Coach Matt There is an abundance of
Mann and Michigan swimming sprinters, not yet proven, who mayj
teams it has been different. develop with time. Among these
are Tony Pear of Detroit, Fritz
This year Mannas banothe Myers of Ann Arbor, Tom Prunk
powerful varsity squad but he hasaDeronsedtadLry
stil cme up it god mterala Dearborn speedster, and Harry
still come .up with good material XWehner from Philadelphia.
among his freshman swimmers.
The freshmen are what the genial * *
swimming coach terms "average," OTTO GUTOWSKY and Bob
Mann's idea of average being nec- Pudduck should add strepgth in
essarily higher than most coaches the backstroke departmeixlt. Gu-
considering the record he has towsky was Detroit city champion1
compiled in his years as coach in backstroke while swimming for
here. Redford High School. Pudduck is
* * * another good Detroit swimmer.

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THREE JOHNS, John Hubly,
John Haselby, and John Thurlow
are named by Mann as top-flight
breaststroke prospects. Hubly, a
Battle Creek product, won the
Class A state title in breaststroke
while in high school. Thurlow
topped off his high school career,
by finishing second in breaststroke
behind Hubly.-
John Narcy from Gary, In-
diana and John Coleman, a1

Backstrokers Wally Gold-
smith and Tom Reissing also
come from the Detroit area.
Goldsmith being from Detroit
and Reissing from Royal Oak.
Coach Mann has numerous oth-
er prospects in all departments
but he states that it is too early
now to know the capabilities of
the men and how they will de-
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