Passages: William L. “Bill” Boomer, Swim Coach and Swim Technique Authority, 84


Passages: William L. “Bill” Boomer, Swim Coach and Swim Technique Authority, 84

Bill Boomer, a long-time swim coach and a well-regarded expert on stroke technique, died suddenly at his home on Jan. 9. He was 84 years old.

Bill Boomer was the head swim coach of the University of Rochester from 1962-90. He compiled a 168-107 record in charge of the Yellow Jackets, winning four consecutive New York State Championships from 1984-87. He tutored 57 swimmers who earned 118 All-America awards. In 1988, Boomer was recognized with the College Swim Coaches Association’s 25-Year Distinguished College Swimming Coach award. The CSCAA in 2014 bestowed upon him the Benjamin Franklin Award for his impact on stroke technique.

The Rochester native is a member of the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame, inducted in 2007. He also was the head coach of the men’s soccer team from 1964-69 and an assistant for the track and field team from 1962-69.

But Boomer’s coaching expertise did not limit him to his corner of New York. He served as a volunteer assistant at Princeton and the University of Tennessee and as a technical assistant at Stanford in the 1990s. He served as a USA Swimming technical advisor for the men’s and women’s teams at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics. He continued counseling swimmers through 2020.

Boomer collaborated with Dr. Albert B. Craig on swim technique, gaining international acclaim for his, “holistic approach to aquatic movement – a symphonic blend of art and science.” In 2000, he and Milt Nelms produced “The Boomer Chronicles,” a five-part series of technique videos.

Boomer helped design Rochester’s Speegle Wilbraham Aquatic Center, which opened in 1982. He spent 22 years directing the university’s recreation and intramural programs. After stepping down as head coach, he spent two years as the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students for Judicial Affairs at the school, and he was the Associate Director of Athletics for Recreation and Wellness in 1992.

Boomer graduated from Springfield College in 1961. He began coaching at Rochester while studying for his master’s in education there. Memorial donations can be made to The Boomer Endowment for Swimming at the University of Rochester.

Relive this lost interview with Bill Boomer by Brent Rutemiller in the earlier years of the Morning Swim Show.  This interview was produced before mainstream videos and digital media.  It was rendered as a .wmv file and as a result the remastered quality is poor.  However the content is priceless!

Original Dateline: PHOENIX, Arizona, March 25. TUESDAY’S edition of The Morning Swim Show features an in-depth interview with swimming guru Bill Boomer, filmed at the recent women’s NCAA swimming and diving championships.

Watch this Lost Video

In this 20-minute interview, Bill Boomer, a world-renowned stroke technician, talks about the changes he has seen regarding the way swimmers are trained.

“When I first got into the sport, it was about building engines,” he told host Brent Rutemiller. “The sport has changed through the introduction of the nervous system into the practice of the sport.”

He said in the late 1990s, he saw a shift from swimming large volumes in the water to recognizing the function of the brain in becoming familiar and comfortable in the water.

In the interview, Boomer expands on his theory by equating the different training systems to the lives of dogs and cats. He offers tips to coaches on setting up their swimmers to race fast in a workout environment. Visualization is also a key element in balancing the nervous system and enhancing the swimmer’s feel of the water.

Some of the swimmers he mentions to make his theories more concrete are Gary Hall Jr., Dara Torres, Janet Evans, Mark Spitz and Michael Phelps.

Email us at if you know of other lost video interview that you would like for us to remaster.

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