UCLA Affiliation: Alumni
Country of Service: Indonesia, Morocco
Years of Service: 1964-1966
I was teaching PE at schools in Bandung, Indonesia as well as coaching swimming at the club level in the area. Because of the Overthrow of President Sukarno in 1965, all Americans had to leave and I went to Rabat, Morocco, and coached swimming at the National Sports Center (Bellevue) and trained PE Teachers how to teach swimming, and worked with several clubs in Meknes, Fes and Rabat coaching swimming, again from age group to National level. I swam at UCLA (1962-64) under Jerry Astourian, Buzz Thayer and Bob Horn, was an average swimmer, but when I got overseas, I was treated like an
Olympian, as Americans were tops in the swimming world, and I was treated well and respected. I also got into other activities at the training center, including learning how to play field HandBall and playing Volleyball with the King. What I learned from my own competitive experience growing up in San Francisco, then swimming at UCLA, was transferred to my coaching experience in Indonesia and Morocco, and to this day, I consider myself a Swim Coach and Sports Administator and have been coaching regularly since my Peace Corps days, most of it voluntary. The experience just made me want to coach more. During the past few years, coaching in the Northern Mariana Islands and now in Hawaii, I have met several former swimmers from Indonesia and Morocco who are now swimming officials. I don’t think I would be coaching today if it weren’t for this early experience.
A great feeling for me is to have someone come up to you and say, it was what I learned from my swimming days that has made me a better person, thanks Coach! And that is why I am still coaching. If I had remained in the USA and gone into coaching, I would never have had the “international” experience that I did, and feel today, that every athlete/coach should have that same experience, working from the ground level up! After Peace Corps, my wife and I lived on Saipan for 30 years and coaching swimming was part of our life, in addition to my real job as a sports administrator. I am currently heading up the PC 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee in Hilo where over 7,000 volunteers trained from 1962-1971, including myself as a trainee and later staff. Our events will take place November 18-20, 2011 in Hilo, Hawaii.
Please make a note, that former UCLA Swimming and Waterpolo Coach, Bob Horn, played a major role in my experience overseas, much of what I did was learned while competing for Bob and Buzz Thayer. Bob even visited me on Saipan in the early 80′s and I have a photo of him with the Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands where I recently spent 31 years after my Peace Corps experience.