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Former Olympic swimming coach diagnosed with brain cancer

Former Stanford swim coach won 12 NCAA titles, coached six Olympic teams

By Rick Eymer

Palo Alto Weekly

Richard Quick, a former resident of Menlo Park and one of the most successful swimming coaches on the planet, has been diagnosed with an inoperable cancerous brain tumor, the Stanford athletic department announced Tuesday. He will turn 66 on Jan. 31.

An MRI discovered a growth in his brain, and a biopsy confirmed the growth was a malignant tumor.

Quick won seven of his 12 NCAA titles at Stanford, guiding his first Cardinal team to a national championship in 1989, winning five in a row 1992-96 and again in 1998. The 12 national college titles are tied for most in Division I coaching.

He retired from Stanford following the 2005 season to be closer to his family in Texas. Two years later he accepted the position of coaching both the men's and women's swimming programs at Auburn.

Quick's legacy also includes coaching the United States Olympic teams on six occasions: 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004.

"Richard's biggest strength is his enthusiasm and his intensity," Stanford grad and Olympic gold medalist Misty Hyman once said. "The way that Richard inspires our team is that he believes that anything was possible if we work hard and believe in ourselves."

He coached at Stanford for 17 years, 1988-2005. Prior to Stanford, Quick led the Texas women to a then-unprecedented five straight NCAA titles (1984-88).

Quick also served as the men's head coach at Iowa State during the 1977-78 season and the women's head coach at Southern Methodist in 1976-77.

Quick earned a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education (1965) and a Master's degree in Physiology of Exercise (1977) from Southern Methodist.

"The Stanford swimming family is keeping Richard and his family in our thoughts and prayers," said Stanford women's coach Lea Maurer, who swam for Quick at Stanford and on the 1992 Olympic team.

"I owe much of my success at Stanford to Richard Quick," Stanford grad, 11-time NCAA champion and Olympian Tara Kirk once said. "His passion for swimming inspired me every day. Richard swims every race with each one of his swimmers and believes in all of his athletes. He pushed me to achieve at the highest levels and to believe that I had the ability to be the best. Richard has inspired me to become a better athlete as well as a better person."

Stanford won 14 Pac-10 titles in his 17 years. The Cardinal won the first 57 dual meets Quick coached, and he has an all-time record of 212-39 (123-10 at Stanford). He coached 41 NCAA champions who captured a combined 63 national individual titles and 29 NCAA relay crowns at Stanford.

A four-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Quick earned two of his five NCAA Coach of the Year awards while at Stanford (1989 and '92).

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