Swimming World Presents – Did You Know? About the Morehouse Tiger Sharks

Swimming World May 2021 did you know - about the morehouse tiger sharks
Morehouse College team photo—Coach Haines-second row, far right

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Did You Know? About the Morehouse Tiger Sharks

By Bruce Wigo

In the history of collegiate athletics, few teams have dominated their 1975. During the 17 years of the program’s existence, the Morehouse swim team from Atlanta, Ga. won 13 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships and boasted a record of 255 wins against only 25 losses.

In the 1960s, Morehouse was one of 15 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to sponsor varsity swimming teams. The other schools were Hampton Institute, Howard, Tennessee State University, West Virginia State College,

Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, South Carolina State, Tuskegee Institute, Johnson C. Smith University, Norfolk State College, Alabama State, Southern and Virginia State.

In 1958, “the idea of black swimmers (at Morehouse) was so new, so revolutionary, that at first fans didn’t know a hot time for the 100 from a squeeze bunt,” said Coach James Haines. “Doc” Haines received his Ph.D. from Springfield College and was also the school’s director of physical education. But by the early 1960s, the student body was so wild about swimming that as many as > 800 of the 1,150 students crammed into the stands to cheer on the best black swim team in the nation.

The secret to Haines’ success was having an excellent feeder system. “I stay away from the creek swimmers,” he said. “It takes competitive swimming and first-class training, and you don’t get that paddling around in creeks.”

Most of his recruits came from historically segregated programs in New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Detroit. But some came from mostly white programs, like junior college transfer Gerald Oliver.

“I swam for an excellent coach,” Oliver told Sports Illustrated in 1973. “A great man, but I was a hired hand. A freak. A black swimmer! At Morehouse, swimming is just an extracurricular activity, not my primary function. An all-black environment is probably just as unnatural as the whiter-than-white ones at the big schools, but many of us need the security of a black environment today.”


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Swimming World June 2021 - King 15 - Eddie Reese Retires After Leading Texas To 15th NCAA Championship
[PHOTO CREDIT: ISHOF ARCHIVE]


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Swimming World May 2021 Issue

FEATURES

014 WOMEN’S NCAAs: A NEW NO. 1
For the first time in the history of the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships—since 1982—the University of Virginia finished first. It was also the first time it cracked the top 5 with its previous highest finish sixth in 2019.

  • VIRGINIA’S ROAD TO HISTORY
    by Dan D’Addona
  • NC STATE ADDS TO ACC DOMINANCE
    by Dan D’Addona
  • THE TALK OF THE MEET: MAGGIE MacNEIL
    by John Lohn

018 MEN’S NCAAs: THE PERFECT RETIREMENT GIFT
Days before their coach, Eddie Reese, officially announced his retirement from coaching after 43 years, the Texas men’s team won their 15th men’s NCAA national team championship.

  • THIS ONE’S FOR EDDIE!
    by Andy Ross
  • SCINTILLATING PERFORMANCES: SHAINE CASAS & RYAN HOFFER
    by John Lohn
  • PATIENCE REWARDED: MAX McHUGH & NICK ALBIERO
    by Andy Ross

022 NCAA D-II CHAMPS: SOME THINGS NEVER SEEM TO CHANGE
by Andy Ross
A year into the pandemic that has completely changed our world, Queens University of Charlotte brought about some stability to the 2021 NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving Championships by sweeping their sixth straight women’s and men’s team titles.

023 NO LIMITS!
by David Rieder
Claire Curzan has been swimming fast since she was a young age grouper and has continued to do so in high school. Last March, she came within 13-hundredths of the American record in the short course 100 fly, and in April, she found herself within 22-hundredths of the long course U.S. best. She’s versatile, she’s coachable, she has international experience, and she’s moved from a fringe Olympic contender to an Olympic favorite. Curzan is only 16, and her promising future couldn’t be brighter.

026 TAKEOFF TO TOKYO: WHEN IRISH EYES WEREN’T SMILING
by John Lohn
Ireland’s Michelle Smith—a four-time Olympic medalist in 1996 who received a four-year ban from the sport in 1998 for tampering with a doping sample—has been defined as being a poster girl for cheating, and by her willingness to cut corners and take advantage of performance-enhancing drug use to make the leap from an athlete of very-good skill to one of elite status.

029 50 SWIMMERS, 6 MEDALS
by Dan D’Addona
The Tokyo Olympics will mark the fourth occasion that open water swimming will be contested on the Olympic level, and even a 10-kilometer marathon race can bring exciting moments and dramatic finishes.

030 JOSH MATHENY: RISING STAR
by Matthew De George
From a middle-schooler newly committed to swimming full-time in 2016, the future looks encouraging for 18-year-old Josh Matheny, who approaches the U.S. Olympic Trials for Tokyo in June as a dark horse to make the team in men’s breaststroke.

032 ISHOF: THE ART OF SWIMMING
by Bruce Wigo
This is the story of Hero and Leander, Lord Byron and the birth of open water swimming.

035 NUTRITION: HYDRATION—BEYOND THIRST!
by Dawn Weatherwax
Hydration truly has a daily importance for all kinds of swimmers from age groupers to Olympians to Masters swimmers, but it tends to get more notoriety when the weather gets warmer.

COACHING

012 THE POWER OF POSITIVE COACHING
by Michael J. Stott
Relationships built upon honesty, trust and communication go a long way toward cementing a bond between coach and athlete. Coupling that with knowledge of the individual first and athlete second produces a positive working relationship that can last for a lifetime.

038 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: MAXIMIZING SWIMMING VELOCITY (Part 1)—STROKE RATE vs. STROKE LENGTH
by Rod Havriluk
Swimming velocity is the criterion measure for swimming performance and is the product of stroke length and stroke rate. This article explains how stroke length and stroke rate vary and how stroke time provides insight into maximizing swimming velocity.

042 Q&A WITH COACH STEVE HAUFLER
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN CHARLOTTE SHAMIA
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

037 DRYSIDE TRAINING: THE IM DRYLAND CIRCUIT
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

047 UP & COMERS: TEAGAN O’DELL
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

011 DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT THE MOREHOUSE TIGER SHARKS?

046 THE OFFICIAL WORD

048 GUTTERTALK

Swimming World is now partnered with the International Swimming Hall of Fame. To find out more, visit us at ishof.org

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