There have been several exceptional articles written about the loss of the Husky swimming program. What the athletes are going through and how they have been treated by the athletic department have typically been the focus.
Bob Condotta at the Seattle Times went above and beyond today by giving us a larger perspective. He goes into detail on the fascinating history of the program, even going so far as to include a timeline from 1932 to the present.
You might be very surprised when you read this article. Most people don’t know just how rich Husky swimming tradition is. In the 70’s, Earl Ellis was able to recruit three Olympic medalists in one year (Rick DeMont, Robin Backhaus and Doug Northway) and had another two on his roster (Rick and Lynn Colella.) The women’s team was actually started in 1975 which was the first time the UW administration tried to cut the men at their height. That year, coach Earl Ellis lost a chunk of his budget and several athletes to transfers before it was announced that the team had been spared.
The article also gives some insight into the building of the Federal Way pool, which has been wonderful for swimming in the northwest, but could have meant so much more to the Huskies. The pool was intended to be built on campus when the Goodwill Games were hosted in Seattle at virtually no cost to the school, but UW administration rejected the idea. They would have been insane to accept a multi-million dollar gift, right?
Please take the time to read Bob Condotta’s article and scroll through the pictures. It is very moving. We have to keep up the fight, and articles like this just might help to inspire the right people to come forward and give the kind of support that might just turn the tide.
Also, please pass on the links to the following articles to others who might support Husky Swimming:
Chris Toomey, Seattle Times
Steve Kelley, Seattle Times
Daily UW 1
Daily UW 2
Daily UW 3