|View from diving platform at Canham Natatorium (Photo courtesy Department of Athletics)|
Michigans been a fantastic place for me. My whole life revolves around the University. Its been a great school, the people are tremendous and Ive really enjoyed my experience here, says Kimball.
Kimball is the last member of the athletic staff to be hired by former Athletic Director Fritz Crisler. He has led the mens diving team for more than four decades, and womens diving for 27 years.
His swimming cap has a number of feathers. Nine of his divers have medalled at the Olympics, including four who brought home the gold. As competitor and coach, Kimball has been a part of five NCAA national championship teams and 33 Big Ten Conference championship teams. He has coached three Big Ten Womens Diver of the Year recipients and seven Big Ten womens diving champions. In 1985, Kimball was the head coach for the World Student Games in Kobe, Japan, and was one of three coaches to head the U.S. diving team at the 1993 FINA Cup in Beijing.
While he has enjoyed every minute of his career, Kimball says there are a few moments that really stand out. These enclude when Micki King won the Olympic gold medal in 1972, and when his son, Bruce Kimball; won the silver, Ron Merriott the bronze and Chris Seufert the womens bronze, all at the 1984 Los Angeles games.
I enjoy it, says Kimball. Id keep coaching if it werent for the recruiting and scheduling. It puts you on the road every day. Coaching is the fun part. Its all the other things that go along with it that make it difficult.
Retirement doesnt mean Kimball is hanging up the goggles. He plans on establishing U.S. and international diving clinics, and he says hell still swim 1,000 yards and roller-blade each day.
Kimball will stay until the end of this years season in 2002, saying he doesnt want to leave this group of divers high and dry.