Photo via IU Athletics

Legendary IU diving coach Hobie Billingsley has passed away

One of the most iconic figures in the history of IU Athletics and the sport of diving passed away on Saturday morning.

Indiana Athletics and its swimming and diving program announced the passing of legendary IU and USA Diving coach Hobie Billingsley. He was 94 years old.

Billingsley’s legacy is that of one of the most important and influential personalities to grace the sport of diving while earning the reputation as one of the sport’s greatest ever coaches.

Billingsley coached at Indiana from 1959-89, winning six NCAA and 23 Big Ten team championships in that span. He coached individuals that combined for 115 national titles, 22 Big Ten Championships and six Olympic medals.

For Team USA, Billingsley coached the 1968, 1972, 1976 and 1980 Olympic teams. He returned to the games in 1992 and 1996 as a diving judge, and in 1996 also had the honor of reciting the Olympic Oath.

An outstanding diver himself, Billingsley earned All-America honors at Ohio State in 1945 and then again from 1948-50. As a freshman, Billingsley won NCAA titles on both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards. As a Buckeye, Billingsley competed alongside teammate Doc Counsilman, who would later become his swimming counterpart at IU. The coaching duo shares the namesake of the current IU swimming and diving facility, the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatics Center.

Following his freshman season at Ohio State, Billingsley joined the Armed Forces and served in Japan during World War II.

Billingsley is a member or the International Swimming Hall of Fame (1983), Indiana University Athletics Hall of Fame (1994) and in 1994 was presented the Sammy Lee Award, the most prestigious award in the world for the sport of diving.


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