Thursday, February 10, 2011

My mentor, Fletcher Gilders, talked about as a glory day flashback from Kenyon College

Fletcher was the best. I miss him greatly.
Kenyon Vaults Back ino Diving After a Decade of Rest - The Kenyon Collegian - Sports: "It wasn't until the mid-1980s that the diving program really came into its own. 'The diving team of the mid '80s up to the late '90s was better than any team in that time,' Steen said. The reason? The hiring of the 'best diving coach of all time,' according to Steen — Fletcher Gilders. Gilders, an NCAA Division I record-setting national champion for Ohio State University, was one of the most successful divers in collegiate history. He was so successful as a diver that his national record, set while at OSU, was not overturned until Greg Louganis came along. After a very successful and decorated career as the swimming and diving coach at Ohio University (developing three Olympic divers and winning eight Mid-American conference titles), he came to Gambier to coach the diving squad in 1985. During his 12 years coaching at Kenyon, Gilders produced three Division III champions and won three NCAA Division III Coach of the Year honors. Now deceased, he is remembered much fondness and respect.

The diving team took a turn for the worse after Gilders' retirement. Without such a dedicated, consistent and 'high-caliber, absolutely adored' coach as Gilders, according to Steen, the program had since fallen into somewhat of a rut for the latter part of the '90s and into the 2000s."
Fletcher retired -- but really, he died way too young. The guy was a lot like the recently departed Jack LaLane. Fletcher was shorter, fit like a bull, functional in his problem solving, and clever with his insights as to what movements to coach and what to ignore until later.


Mark Rauterkus said...

I think Fletcher was actually taller than Jack Lalane 5’ 6”.   I enjoyed your post. 

It may have been before your time, but Fletch play the entire team in Ping Pong and beat everyone…one by one.  He used a unique style of a downward curving ball from a bit farther from the table than most.  Bowling was the same, Fletcher won.

Mcleod, Tarr and I still reminisce about the man who may have had more influence on us in life than swimming.  I miss his fascinating life philosophy and down to earth outlook on everything.  I regret I didn’t visit him at Kenyon.  I’ve gotten to know Jim Steen and of course Steen loved him. 

I thought you were a great asset to the team and really a big help to Fletch.


.... My reposting above.....


Mark Rauterkus said...

My reply .....

Hi Phil,

Thanks for the kind words.

I am not sure what post you came upon however. ??

I missed the ping pong and bowling. But it makes perfect sense.

I miss you guys too. I always tell my swimmers about you and your ability to hit tapers.

But just a month ago I got an email from Skip. He and I reflected some on Fletcher too. You should give him a call or note too.

Are you using Facebook?

Ever come to Pittsburgh?

Take care.

Mark Rauterkus
412 298 3432