By Adam Swiatkowski, Bicentennial Intern, Class of 2020, Business: Finance and Marketing
In the latter half of the 20th century, the swimming world advanced immensely due to the efforts of Indiana University men's swim coach James Edward “Doc” Counsilman. Doc’s brand of scientific inquiry led to the development of swim training for swimmers of all ages through innovation in sports science.
Doc’s work in swimming began early in his life, as he swam competitively in St. Louis and won swim meets on the national stage. He was recruited to Ohio State University and continued to win national titles at AAU championships. After a brief stint in the military, Doc went on to study physiology at the University of Illinois and University of Iowa; he began to apply his research to swimmers at Cortland State University. The success of Cortland’s swimmers under Doc attracted IU’s athletic department; Doc was hired as an IU swim coach in 1957. The following timeline traces Doc’s early beginnings, follows his personal swimming success, his education, and his first research efforts.