Passages: Diving Coach Fred Schlichting

Photo Courtesy: Mary Lou Schlichting

Legendary diving coach Fred Schlichting passed away peacefully Wednesday afternoon after a battle with gliobastoma. An obituary was provided to Swimming World by John Walker.

Fred Schlichting was one of Hobie Billingsley’s first divers.  He was from San Francisco and followed Hobie to Ohio University and then to Indiana University where he graduated in ~1963 I think.  Hobie gives Fred credit for stimulating the science/physics of diving, noting a specific observation while reviewing a movie of Bob Webster doing an Inward Dive Layout.  Fred said to Hobie, “Look at the bottom of the press (board’s downward most bend)…Bob’s arms are straight over his head (he was in a balanced position with his arms over his head)…and as he is jumping up off the board, his arms are moving laterally straight down to the ‘T’ position for flight through the dive.” Hobie said this led to discussion/embrace/integration of Newton’s Law of motion…’for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction’ into coaching our sport.

After graduation and a stint in the Navy, he got his Master’s Degree. He taught Elementary School Physical Education (children called him Mr. Slipthing) in the Freemont School System (near San Jose) ~40 years. For many years Fred was Diving Coach at the Santa Clara International Swim Center (Fred’s diver Don Dunfield just missed the 1972 US Olympic Team on 3 meter Springboard finishing 4th in the Trials).

Fred has been particularly special to many who have known him over the years.

Thanks so much, Frank, for all you do for the Diving World.

With appreciation,

Obituary and Memorial Service details will come as arrangements are finalized.

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  1. Michelle Sandri

    Fred was my diving coach for at least eight years- high school thru college all thru the 70’s

  2. avatar
    David Cotton

    Fred is one of the true Diving Gods; he talked me out of quitting after I suffered a 21 stitch platform diving injury in a meet; I qualified for my 1st Nationals two weeks later and never looked back. Thank you Fred!

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