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tBBC Making The List: Mike Peppe

Discussion in 'News' started by jcollingsworth, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. Making The List: Mike Peppe
    jcollingsworth
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


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    Back on January 29th of this year my first choice for a swimmer at The Ohio State University- deserving – was Yoshi Oyakawa. I have now decided to follow-up on that and pick another swimmer/diver – who also happened to be the coach of some of the greatest swimmers in both Buckeye history, but also Olympic history.

    Mike Peppe was the first swimming and diving coach at The Ohio State University, holding that title from 1931 until he retired which would be 1963. In his 33 years at the helm of the Buckeyes swimming program the School would win 33 major championships, 12 Big-ten Titles, 11 NCAA Crowns and 10 NAAU titles. In dual meets Peppe and the Buckeyes would run a commanding record of 173-37. In twelve separate years the Buckeyes were undefeated during Coach Peppe’s tenure. On 312 individual and relay championships swimmers/divers from Peppe’s teams would win it all. There would be five Olympic Gold Medalists and 24 Olympic team berths. In 1947 and again in 1956 Peppe’s divers swept the boards 1, 2, 3, and 4th in the NCAA diving finals.

    Mike Peppe wasn’t only good for the Ohio State University – he would be good for the United States of America. He was the diving coach of the 1948 Olympic Games in London and again in 1952 when the games were held in Helsinki. He would also serve as the first head coach of the US team at the very first official Pan-Am Games which were held in 1951 in Buenos Aires.

    There simply is no one else – coaching wise – in swimming and diving in all of America that had a better record than Mike Peppe in the 1950’s. In the four Olympic Games following the Second World War until Peppe retired The Ohio State University had 19 of the 92 members of the Olympic team. In 1952’s Olympic squad alone five Buckeyes out of twenty-five were members of the team.

    Mike Peppe was known throughout the world as the coach with more Olympians than any other man. During one span under the direction of Coach Peppe 20 divers took 96 of 125 national titles.

    The dominance represented in the name of Mike Peppe during the span that he coached at the Ohio State University has triggered some interesting recognition’s from opposing coaches. Matt Mann of TTUN (having 6 NCAA Titles of his own) said of Peppe: “There’s no one that scares me more!” Robert J.H. Kiphuth of Yale said: “Peppe is a complete précis of winning, winning, and winning again. I see Peppe and winning as one word – the same.” And upon his retirement in 1963 Peter Daland of Southern California (USC) said: “Good man. Great Coach. I hope he has a wonderful retirement. I won’t miss him!”

    Making the List is the outlining of Great Buckeyes – their accomplishments can cover a range of details as I have specified from some of my choices. Mike Peppe falls into the category equivalent to Woody Hayes, Fred Taylor, and Phyllis Bailey. Just as the Football program would not be on the map had it not been for Woody or the men’s Basketball program had it not been for Fred or the Women’s Basketball program had it not been for Phyllis. The swimming Program would not have been as successful as it was had it not been for Mike Peppe. Oh, I did mention he won 11 NCAA Championships didn’t I?

    The post Making The List: Mike Peppe appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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