Coach Soichi Sakamoto
Soichi Sakamoto is the great coach responsible for modern Hawaiian swimming success. Hawaiian swimmers dominated the sport from 1912, but Buster Crabbe, in the 1932 Olympics was their last champion of that long illustrious era.
Then came a drought and Coach Sakamoto, starting with children in an irrigation ditch, was developing new ideas of pace and rhythm with a metronome. His young swimmers were a new breed of public school swimmers going on to Ohio State and Indiana - Hirose, Nakama, Smith, Konno, Oyakawa, Onekea, Cleveland, Woolsey, Tanabe, Miki and the girls Kalama, Klein-Schmidt, Kawamoto and Hoe. All became National Champions, most make the Olympic teams of 1948, 1952 and 1956.
During this period, Sakamoto was sought out by swimmers all over the world, Journeying to Hawaii in search of the magic touch. They found technique, method dedication and conditioning which produced champions at all strokes and distances, but as the coach told all those swimmers, "It's not magic!"
"The swimming stroke is a ~ working tool", says this master coach, "and therefore it must be one which must be sound in its practical use - to get the most out of a given effort. It must be simple and efficient, and one which can be controlled at will by the individual...Swimming with and not against the water."
"Patience, above all, is tantamount and a rule," Sakamoto continues, "as improvement, growth, speed and success come only at a snails pace. First, it is learning to swim, training and conditioning, competing and going through the bitter experiences of defeat and chagrin. The light of success comes only when everything seems hopeless and wasted."
Coach Michael Peppe
Mike Peppe is known around the world as the coach of more Olympic divers than any other man. During one long period, 20 divers who studied under this master coach bagged 96 of 125 available National Titles, including two gold, four silver and three bronze Olympic medals in the four Games, 1948, 1952, 1956 and 1960.
Mike Peppe was graduated from Ohio State in 1927. He took a Masters from Columbia in 1928 and returned again to Ohio State where he became the University's first swimming coach in 1931 and the only head swimming coach until his retirement in 1962. During those 33 years, Peppe and Ohio State won 33 major championships, 12 Big Ten, 11 NCAA and 10 NAAU. In dual meets, Ohio State 173 and lost 37. Peppe's teams went undefeated in 12 different seasons.
During these years, Peppe coached swimmers and divers, won 312 individual and relay championships, 5 Olympic gold medals and 19 Olympic team berths. Twice (in 1947 and 1956) Peppe's Ohio State divers swept the boards 1,2,3,4 in the NCAA diving finals.
No swimming and diving coach had a better record in the 1959's than did Mike Peppe, the bantam master of the boards and the water at Ohio State. Peppe was U.S. Olympic diving coach at London in 1948, and again in 1952 at Helsinki. He was swimming and diving coach of the U.S. team at the first official Pan American Games in 1951 at Buenos Aires. In the four Olympic Games from World War II until Peppe retired, Ohio State contributed 19 of the 92 members, The 1952 team of 25 members had nine Buckeyes.