Counsilman, James E(dward) 1920-2004

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COUNSILMAN, James E(dward) 1920-2004

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born December 28, 1920, in Birmingham, AL; died January 4, 2004, in Bloomington, IN. Athletic coach and author. Counsilman was a renowned swimming coach who led two U.S. Olympic teams and headed the swimming program at Indiana University over four decades. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Forces in Europe during World War II as a bomber pilot, he completed his undergraduate studies at Ohio State University in 1947. This was followed by a master's at the University of Illinois in 1948, and a doctorate in physical education at the University of Iowa in 1951. The first six years of Counsilman's coaching career were spent at Cortland State Teachers College, after which he joined the faculty at Indiana University—Bloomington, where he would remain until his retirement in 1991. At Indiana, Counsilman led his swimmers to an incredible 230-11 record. Among these athletes was Mark Spitz, who would go on to win seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympics. Counsilman would coach the U.S.A. Olympic team in 1964 and 1976, but he also helped train foreign athletes, some of whom would go on to win the gold as well. An innovative coach, he was the first to use underwater photography to help analyze swimmers' strokes, and in 1969 he wrote the influential The Science of Swimming. He was also the author of Competitive Swimming Manual for Coaches and Swimmers (1977), The Complete Book of Swimming (1977), and, with son, Brian, The New Science of Swimming (1994). Counsilman was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1976.



Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2004, p. B9.

New York Times, January 5, 2004, p. B8.

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Counsilman, James E(dward) 1920-2004

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