Hobie Billingsley

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Hobie Billingsley in 1963

Hobie Billingsley (born December 2, 1927) is an American diving champion and honoree of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He took the judges oath at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.


Billingsley was born on December 2, 1927.[1]

Billingsley was the Swimming-Diving Coach at Allen Park High School in Wayne County, Michigan from 1955 to 1957 where he molded the beginnings of a swimming program that led to Allen Park eventually capturing the Michigan High School Boys State Championship. Where he went, skills improved and motivations increased; an instructor in swimming and diving skills and students.

Hobie Billingsley was Indiana University’s diving coach from 1959 to 1989, during which time his divers won more than 100 national diving titles. His Olympic gold and bronze medalists include Lesley Bush, Kenneth Sitzberger, Mark Lenzi, Cynthia Potter, Win Young, and Jim Henry. Mr. Billingsley founded the World Diving Coaches Association in 1968, and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1983. He is considered by many to be one of the most influential figures in the history of diving. His legacy is carried on by his former divers who are now coaches at universities, high schools, and swim clubs throughout the United States. Mr. Billingsley is profiled in the award-winning and widely televised documentary Hobie’s Heroes – 25th Anniversary Edition, which depicts the struggles and successes of young divers training under this legendary coach.

Hobie Billingsley is one of only six diving coaches mentioned in the American Red Cross's Swimming and Water Safety [WSI Manual, 2004]; in the chapter on the history of the sport, Hobie is one of only two diving coaches with multiple mentions: he and Dick Kimball (University of Michigan) are credited with 'opening the door for women in varsity diving programs,' and he is cited as contributing to the sport of diving through analysis based on principles of physical laws of motion [both references, pg 20].

Following retirement from university coaching, Hobie continues to be active in the sport, training divers and coaches around the world, and is respected as a speaker on diving history, technique and ethics, and on sports in general. He has recently published the second edition of his Diving Illustrated, a seminal work offering detailed technical support for coaching diving.

In July 2018, Billingsley was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis and hospitalized.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Diving legend Hobie Billingsley honored with 90th birthday celebration". IU.edu. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  2. ^ "Hobie Billingsley Diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis; Recovering in Hospital". Swimming World Magazine. Retrieved July 16, 2018.

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