Swimming Coach, 1965-79
Inducted February 16, 1991
Coach Dale Williams was the first swimming coach SMSU ever had and he guided the program from the time it was established in the winter of 1965-66 until the end of the 1978-80 season. Through most of that tenure, the Bears didn’t have the advantage of a home pool and Coach Williams recruited to, practiced in, and competed in the Springfield YMCA pool. From his early years with 1-6 and 0-12 dual meet teams, Williams got the Bears to a .500 mark in 1968 and then started a four-year run of MIAA championships from 1969 through 1973. During that period, the Bears had an undefeated 12-0 season in 1970 and were 12-3 in 1973. The Bears were no worse than third in the MIAA any of the last 12 years Williams guided the program. SMSU finished as the league runnerup five times. The Bears finally got a home pool with the building of Hammons Student Center in 1976, and went on to a final 92-65 dual meet mark with the Bears. Under Williams, 27 swimmers won a total of 60 individual event and relay championships at MIAA meets, and he produced SMSU’s first two swimming All-Americans. Breaststroker Tom Tipton won All-American honors at the NCAA Division II meets in 1972, 1973, and 1974 while diver Doug Binkley was a 1977 All-American. Coach Williams, a native of Florence, Kans., and a 1960 graduate of Fort Hays State University, was an assistant football coach at SMS from 1965 until 1971. He has been on the staff of the SMSU Department of Physical Education since he came to SMS in 1965.