Japanese Coaching Legend Commits Suicide

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. May 14. JAPANESE coaching legend Yutaka Terao, 58, committed suicide in Pompano Beach, Florida, according to a report from John Leonard, Executive Director of the American Swimming Coaches Association.

Mr. Terao was in Florida to attend this year's induction ceremonies into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. His close friend, Kouji Katoh was inducted into the Hall on Saturday.

According to police, Mr. Terao rented a gun at an indoor shooting range, fired a few shots at a target and then apparently turned the weapon on himself.

An employee of the shooting range called 911. When paramedics and sheriff’s office deputies arrived, about 2 p.m., they determined that Mr. Terao was dead of a gunshot wound to the head.

Hall of Fame President Sam Freas said Terao, his friend of 20 years, was dying of cancer, but that he seemed upbeat.

Terao coached at Harvard University and the University of Alabama before returning to Japan to open a chain of swim schools, which made him a millionaire.

Mr. Leonard said: "I met with Yutaka at 11:30 this morning and discussed a clinic he said he would like to run in Tokyo this September. He had lost a great deal of weight and clearly was still struggling with his cancer, but otherwise seemed in good spirits and thinking of the future.

"Naturally, I am at a loss and shocked beyond comprehension.

"Yutaka was, in my opinion, a bold and wonderful man, progressive about swimming to the end, visionary in his willingness to support the World Swimming Coaches Association and steadfast in his constant support of the American Swimming Coaches Association as a world leader in coaching.

"Our last conversation centered on the good work that the Nippon Swimming Coaches Association was doing in its independence and how he wanted this clinic to be a collaboration between WSCA, NSCA, and ASCA. It was
vintage Yutuka, trying to put everyone happily under the same tent.

"He even outlined the type of party he wanted to host on the first evening of the clinic! Typically Yutaka, the party was a central thought.

"Yutaka was our great and good friend. I love him and will miss him forever. A good man is lost to us."

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