Episode 1: Swimming History: Coach Don Regenbogen
The first thing that came to my mind before reaching out to Coach Don Regenbogen was, “How the heck do I pronounce his last name?” It made me think of Henry Rowengartner.
It is pronounced ‘Reagan’ — like Ronald Reagan. Reagan-Bogen. Regenbogen.
Coach Don Regenbogen (currently with OCCS) was lured down from Pittsburgh in the 1980’s by Doug Fonder (who founded QDD). There he met a young age group swimmer named Jeff Rouse.
Coach Don and I got to talk about a lot of things including Sudley’s remarkable 94 meet summer league winning streak. How college swimming has helped sprinters but hurt distance swimmers in America. And, the plethora of QDD swimmers (7) that went on to represent the USA in the Olympics in several different sports.
But mainly we talked about Jeff Rouse.
We touch on…
…how Bill Ripol really taught him to train. Bill was the 1987 ACC Champion for UVA in the 400 IM.
…how he broke his wrist 8 weeks before his first World Champs Trails meet.
…how Coach Don rigged up a bucket to a 10 meter diving platform at the old Marines pool.
…how David Berkoff inadvertently lit a fire under his butt at the 1988 Olympic Trials.
…how Coach Don knew, after losing to Mark Tewksbury in 1992, that Jeff Rouse was prepared to go on a mental journey for the next 4 years.
…how Pablo Morales got him pumped up for the 400 Medley Relay in 1992, where he broke his own World Record leading off in 53.86. This record lasted for 7 years, 24 days. Nobody has held the 100 LCM Back World Record longer than Jeff Rouse. Ryan Murphy is 2 years, 1 month, and 6 days in…
100 Back, Prelims: 56.81, 5th place
100 Back, Finals: 57.12, 6th place
200 Back, Prelims: 2:06.10, 28th place
“I like to think Jeff helped make me the coach that I am versus me being the coach that helped make Jeff. He doesn’t agree with me, but, ya know, when you have talented swimmers especially like someone like that, if you’re not completely ignorant and just give them a certain level of work, they tend to keep getting better because you don’t have to motivate them, they’re motivated to want to do it.”
100 Back LCM World Record Progression
Not surprised that Rouse, Peirsol, and Murphy all established World Records on Relays.
|54.95||David Berkoff||August 12, 1988||Austin, Texas, USA|
|54.91||David Berkoff||August 12, 1988||Austin, Texas, USA|
|54.51||David Berkoff||September 24, 1988||Seoul, South Korea|
|53.93||Jeff Rouse||August 25, 1991||Edmonton, Canada|
|53.86 (r)||Jeff Rouse||July 31, 1992||Barcelona, Spain|
|53.60||Lenny Krayzelburg||August 24, 1999||Sydney, Australia|
|53.45 (r)||Aaron Peirsol||August 21, 2004||Athens, Greece|
|53.17||Aaron Peirsol||April 2, 2005||Indianapolis, Indiana, USA|
|52.98||Aaron Peirsol||March 27, 2007||Melbourne, Australia|
|52.89||Aaron Peirsol||July 1, 2008||Omaha, Nebraska, USA|
|52.54||Aaron Peirsol||August 12, 2008||Beijing, China|
|52.38||Aschwin Wildeboer||July 1, 2009||Pescara, Italy|
|51.94||Aaron Peirsol||July 8, 2009||Indianapolis, Indiana, USA|
|51.85 (r)||Ryan Murphy||August 13, 2016||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
After listening to the interview, Coach Ross Gerry, former Associate Head Coach along side Richard Quick at Stanford from 1991-2001, wrote in with a couple of memories to share…
I recall sitting with Skip Kenney in Menlo Park during broadcast of Jeff’s 100 Bk in Barcelona.
Skip was too nervous too watch the race, and left the room! Later that day I believe, he got a call from Jeff in Barcelona asking if it was ok to train with him for 4 more years!
I also recall seeing Jeff go 50m underwater from a push with zoomers on and go 21.8 at Air Force Academy the fall of “91.