Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chatting with Gary Kempf

On-deck conversations with other swim coaches are one of the best parts of the whole coaching gig.  I feel blessed to get to talk shop with some great people on the weekends, and the world of swimming is small enough that it seems like no matter what part of the country a coach is from it turns out that you know some of the same people.   I especially love chatting with old school coaches.  They often have a kind of insight that could only come from seeing the way we do things now in contrast to where we came from.  Often they know personally the people who helped us to innovate and move the sport ever forward and remember the thought processes behind some of the major decisions that have shaped competitive swimming into what it is today.

Last week, while Coach Keyser had the Asbury team training at our pool, I had the pleasure of getting to know his "assistant coaches" Gary and Dorothy Kempf.  Gary was the Head Coach at the University of Kansas for over 20 years, and Dorothy is a great coach in her own right.  As a matter of fact, Gary says "she is one of the best sprint coaches in the country" and she won't let him touch her sprinters.  Haha.  They are both just wonderful people and I loved getting to see them work with the Asbury kids.

I got to show Gary an interview I did with Tammy Thomas, one of his former swimmers who was an American Record holder, and he said it made his day.  We also talked a little about some of the Alaskans he recruited to swim at KU.  One of them I knew pretty well.  They called him Robo-Todd and he used to beat the heck out of me when he was 16 and I was 10 playing water polo at swim practice. Anyway, Gary was generous enough to let me turn on my camera so I could share some some of the poolside chatter with all of you Swim-Briefers.  Enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. I think I could listen to one of these clips about once a week for the rest of my life and it wouldn't get old. I am waiting for Dorothy to convince him to write a book. It would be epic, I am certain. Thanks for posting! Miss the Kempfs.