Quick's Retirement Marks the End of an Era -- April 19, 2005
Tuesday afternoon, Richard Quick announced his retirement from collegiate swimming, thus ending a coaching career marked by tremendous success and deep admiration from his peers. The following is the official press release of Stanford University
PALO ALTO, Calif., April 19. STANFORD'S Richard Quick announced (Tuesday) that he will retire after a 28-year career as a collegiate swimming head coach, including the past 17 seasons at Stanford, effective at the conclusion of the 2005 summer season. A nationwide search for a replacement will begin immediately.
"Coaching at Stanford was a dream come true for me," said Quick. "It was everything that I could have dreamed possible. There were so many thrills and wonderful experiences, and so few disappointments. I consider myself blessed to have been able to be in my position at Stanford for 17 years and to have been a collegiate swimming head coach for 28."
Quick has been one of the most respected coaches in swimming, both on the collegiate and international levels. His 12 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving team titles during his collegiate coaching career are the most by any coach in the history of the sport. He was a member of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team coaching staff six times with three assignments as the head coach for the women's squad (1988, '96, 2000), as well as three assistant coaching tours of duty (1984, '92, 2004). Quick was named the United States Olympic Committee Coach of the Year in 2000.
"This is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my life," continued the 62-year-old Quick, who cited a primary reason for his retirement was to be able to spend more time with his family in Texas. "I literally love the team I coached this past year, but my grandchildren are growing up, and I want to be able to spend some time with them and the rest of my family. If I could move my grandchildren to Stanford or could move Stanford to them, I would do that."
"I have so many memories, both at Stanford and in the coaching profession in general," Quick added. "I have been honored to have coached some of the finest athletes in the world, and we've competed at the very highest levels intercollegiately and internationally. But, many of my memories simply revolve around the experience of working with student-athletes on a daily basis. That has been as big of a thrill as anything."
Quick won seven of his NCAA titles at Stanford, guiding his first Cardinal team to a national championship in 1989 before winning five in a row from 1992-96 and one more in 1998. He also led Stanford to 14 Pacific-10 Conference crowns, including back-to-back league titles in each of his last two seasons. He started his Stanford career by winning his first 57 dual meets, while his teams on The Farm sported an all-time record of 123-10 (.925). He coached 41 NCAA champions who captured a combined 63 national individual titles and 29 NCAA relay crowns during his 17 seasons at Stanford.
Quick was named the NCAA Coach of the Year five times (1984, '85, '86, '89, '92) and the Pacific-10 Coach of the Year on four occasions (1989, '92, '95, 2001).
"Richard Quick has undeniably been one of the top coaches in the history of swimming," said Stanford Athletic Director Dr. Ted Leland. "He has developed our women's swimming and diving program into one of the most respected and successful programs in the history of collegiate swimming. We wish him success in all of his future endeavors and thank him for his service to Stanford University."
Quick's success as a collegiate head coach was not just limited to the Stanford campus as he compiled an overall dual meet record of 212-39 (.845), including a 180-30 (.857) mark as a women's head coach. Quick led his teams to 20 conference crowns, all on the women's side. Before coming to The Farm, he led Texas to a then unprecedented five straight NCAA titles (1984-88), a string he extended to six in a row in his first season with the Cardinal. He was inducted into the Texas Women's Athletics Hall of Fame in November of 2004 for his coaching accomplishments with the Longhorns.
To put things in perspective, of the past 22 NCAA titles awarded, squads coached by Richard Quick won 12 of them.
Prior to his stints with Stanford and Texas, Quick also served as both the men's and women's coach at Auburn for four seasons (1978-82). While there, he was the guiding force behind a successful men's team, as well as the building block for a women's program that improved from an NCAA also-ran to win three consecutive NCAA titles from 2002-04. Quick also served as the men's head coach at Iowa State during the 1977-78 season.
The three U.S. Olympic women's teams that Quick served as head coach for had great success as well. In his first Olympic head coaching assignment at the 1988 Games in Seoul, the American women brought home 17 medals. At the 1996 Games in Atlanta, the women garnered seven gold, five silver and two bronze medals, while the men's and women's swimming squads combined for a total of 26 medals, the most by any team at the 1996 Olympic Games. His 2000 squad brought home 16 medals (seven gold, two silver, seven bronze).
The Americans also did well when he served as an assistant coach, most recently in 2004 in Athens when Team USA won the swimming medal count as the men's and women's teams combined for 28 medals (18 men, 10 women) to easily outdistance second-place Australia (15 total). At the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the United States (which featured five Stanford student-athletes) captured 27 medals, 17 of which hung from the necks of Cardinal swimmers. As an assistant men's coach at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Quick helped one of his pupils, Rowdy Gaines, to three gold medals.
A list of other international coaching assignments included four consecutive World Championships as the head coach in 1986, 1990 and 1994, and an assistant in 1982. He has also coached at the 1990 Goodwill Games, three Pan Pacific Games (1983, '85, '87), the 1985 World University Games and the 1979 Pan American Games.
Quick was also the post-collegiate coach for some of the top women's swimmers in American history.
Jenny Thompson, Dara Torres and Misty Hyman all trained with Quick in preparation for the 2000 Olympics.
Thompson, a 1995 Stanford graduate, retired following the 2004 Olympics after becoming the most decorated American athlete in the history of the Games, bringing home eight gold medals and 12 overall as a member of a record-tying four Olympic teams (1992, '96, 2000, '04). She also broke several world and American records while swimming under Quick.
Torres launched her comeback for the 2000 Olympics under Quick's watch to become the first woman to ever swim in four Olympic Games. In Sydney, she was the top medal winner of any athlete with five medals (two gold, three bronze).
Hyman, who finished her collegiate career with 12 NCAA titles and the maximum 28 All-American honors, was a surprise gold medal winner in the 200 meter fly at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney while the 2001 Stanford graduate was still a student-athlete on The Farm.
He also coached 2004 Olympian and 11-time NCAA champion Tara Kirk following her Stanford career. Kirk became the first Stanford student-athlete to earn Collegiate Woman of the Year honors for her efforts as a senior in 2003-04, while also adding the NCAA and Pac-10 Swimmer of Year awards. She won the 100 breaststroke at the NCAA Championships in each of her four collegiate seasons, while sweeping the 100 and 200 breast in each of her final three campaigns.
Three members of Quick's final Stanford team in 2004-05 - Caroline Bruce, Kristen Caverly and Dana Kirk - were also on the 2004 U.S. Olympic squad. Bruce swept the breaststroke events at the 2005 NCAA Championships.
Quick looks forward to possibly being a consultant for USA Swimming or conducting swimming clinics during his retirement.
"I do have some other opportunities that I hope to pursue, but they will be secondary to spending time with my family," explained Quick. "I've heard coaches say that when they get close to a point where they're ready to retire, and when I was younger I didn't really understand that. But as you get a little order, you do begin to understand it, and that's where I am."