June 2013 Aquatics Alumni Update

Please welcome the new Caltech Coaches

No one planned on Caltech Athletics having two coaches leave at the same time and both being from the aquatic program.  The two gentlemen taking over are Jack & Patrick and they will do a great job but need all the alumni, staff and student support that we can muster.  So when you get a chance - shoot them an email or phone call. (Did you know Patrick and Clinton went to the same high school, Downey High, and were coached by the same legend - Bill Sexton?)

Jack is Caltech's New Swim Coach

The Caltech athletics department has named Jack Leavitt as its new head coach of the swimming and diving program. He will begin transitioning into his role over the next few weeks with a July 1 start date.
Since the program's inception in 1921, he is the 14th person to lead the Beavers program. He takes controls of the squad from Clinton Dodd who is retiring at the end of the school year after 34 years at the helm.
Prior to his appointment with the Beavers program, Leavitt served as the assistant coach at the United State Military Academy. While with the Black Knights he was primarily in charge of training the distance swimmers as well as all aspects of recruitment for the men's team. In 2013, the Patriot League honored the men's team with the coaching staff of the year award.
"I am honored to be the next swim coach at Caltech. After visiting and speaking with people on campus, I knew it was a great fit. Everyone in the athletic department and on the academic side had the same vision of success for athletics at Caltech," Leavitt said. "I am excited to work with exceptional young men and women on the goal of matching our academic success with success in the pool. I would like to thank Betsy Mitchell and everyone that was part of the search process for affording me with this great opportunity."

Patrick is Caltech's New Water Polo Coach

The Caltech athletics department has named Pat Beemer as its new head men's and women's water polo coach. He will begin transitioning into his role over the next few weeks with a July 1 start date.
Since the program's inception in 1921 he is the 14th person to lead the Beavers program.
"I accepted the water polo position because of the dynamic change culture occurring at Caltech," Beemer said. "I'm honored that Betsy saw fit to have me lead this program where exponential growth is on the horizon."
Prior to his appointment with the Beavers program, Beemer served as the associate head coach with the Indiana University women's water polo program. During his three seasons with the Hoosiers he helped guide them to 75 wins – including a school record 28 in 2012, a league title and an appearance at the NCAA Championships. In addition to the team successes, he coached four All-Americans and seven CWPA Eastern Division all-league sections.
Before landing in Bloomington, IN, Beemer spent six seasons as the head coach at Wagner, where he produced a 116-89 overall record, including a 48-16 mark in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play. He earned the 2005 and 2010 MAAC Coach of the Year award.

Caltech's Ditch Day was last Friday (really)

Students donning sumo suits, racing shopping carts, rappelling down buildings and wielding slingshots, sledgehammers, and bows took over campus for this year's Ditch Day.
Ditch Day is one of Caltech's oldest traditions. During the spring rite, seniors ditch their classes and vanish from campus, leaving behind complex, imaginative scavenger hunts, puzzles, and other challenges that are carefully planned out to occupy the underclassmen and prevent them from wreaking havoc in the seniors' unoccupied rooms. Although similar such hijinks are apt to occur any day of the year at Caltech, Ditch Day—the timing of which is kept secret until the last minute—inspires some of the most inventive manifestations of Techers' pranking impulses.  Check out the front web page of the Caltech web site and read along.  (One example)
The "City of Roses - Stack" was aimed at getting the undergrads out of the "Caltech Bubble" and exploring Pasadena.  They got a tour of the Rose Bowl stadium (cool - only ones inside the venue), got to decorate some wagons like parade floats, voted a rose queen to sit in the wagons and got towed down Colorado Blvd while doing the "parade float wave".  Cars stopped and people jumped up from their nice lunches to take pictures.  In front of city hall, a wedding photographer needed to be reminded to take pictures of the bride and not the mini Rose Parade going by.  The Stack started in the Rose Bowl Pool and ended at the Pasadena High School Pool with many more fun tasks in between.  Great Stack!  Plus I got to drive a big van.
More Fallout from that Caltech vs. Pepperdine Match> From an Anonymous Alumni

"You know, I remember that game well. As we were leaving, one of the blond undergrads women asked me if she could speak with me. She said they were having a hard time getting dates at Pepperdine at the time.  Subsequently, we invited her to a party at Caltech and were surprised when she and quite a few other of the Pepperdine coeds *Chartered a BUS* to come and party with the Tech Squad!  :)

Caltech Upsets Oxy from Brian Hayes '89

"I wanted to remind you of the greatest Caltech swimming victory while I was there (and maybe one of the tops in its history): the Saturday in January or February 1988, when we beat Oxy at their pool.
That meet had everything - from the "set-up" on the prior Wednesday.  Caltech hosted Colorado College and Occidental.  Coach Dodd had everyone swimming but swimming their off events (including a rare 200 fly for me). We got beaten by a large margin on Wednesday knowing we had our important Conference match with Occidental on Saturday.
At Oxy we tanked the first relay then won the 1000 and 200 to take the lead.  We also had David Bruning trying to get one of their guys to false start in the 50 (but not quite succeeding). I recall swimming the 200 IM and winning the event in an outside lane (so much deception!), and swimming the 100 back and 100 breast, as well.  Final Score Caltech 116 – Occidental 106"

It was certainly a Great Retirement Party

I personally want to thank all the folks that made the effort and time to come and support an old coach.  Your presence there on the pool deck really touched me deeply and I truly want to thank you so much for the effort and support.  
For those who couldn't make it, we had over 140 folks eating and drinking on the pool deck which was turned into a Hawaiian Island by the fantastic Caltech staff.  Everyone was telling their favorite water polo or scuba trip or swimming stories.  We did use the IBM multi-tasking 9000v computer to do some number crunching - and in 34 years at Caltech - I've coached 89 women's polo players, 360 men water polo players, 373 scuba divers 1,873 swimming team members and 2,323 students in classes. WOW!!  
I want to thank all the folks that grabbed the microphone and said a few words.  Dr. John Grotzinger, Rich Arrieta, Rusty Schweitzer, Eagle Jones, Matt Wette, Mike Greene and John Reimier.  Everyone that I met on that pool deck is such an important part of my life and my family's life.  Your caring and encouragement, whether you were at Caltech 34 years ago or last week, is truly a wonderful experience that I was blessed to be a part.  
I was so happy to see all of my current and past students and professors and parents of past student/athletes sharing their thoughts and memories.  It really gave me some of my own great memories to hold on to for years to come.  Lastly, "watch out".   I'm starting my own "Tour de Caltech Aquatic Friends" shortly.  Do not forget the clinton.d.dodd@gmail.com  (Thank you Claire)

Biggest Surprise?

Seeing Cathy & Peter Neushul who have a busy, busy life - chasing around a dynamic group of water polo children:  Kiley, Jamie and Ryan. And Cathy also is the head coach of UC San Barbara women's water polo team.  WOW, I'm tired just thinking of their schedule.  I couldn't believe they made it. Thank you, - so much.
Auna Moser '89 BS, 94MS and 11 PhD. and Jake came out from the land of High Energy (New Mexico) and got to visit and enjoy the Caltech Campus and have a few beverages with the gang.
Brent Stuart '82 & Jim Labrenz '86 and Brian Kearns '06 - I have not seen Brent or Jim in twenty years plus and Brian is a much in demand software engineer.  I have heard stories of them (much like "Big Foot") and then they were there - on the pool deck. They looked like they might still have eligibility left.  
Rich Arrieta '88, again another student that I have not seen in a long time, made the drive up from San Diego.  Rich is a graduate of the Caltech's (year long) Scuba program.  He went on to be the Director of the Navy's "Unmanned Maritime Vehicle Lab" down at Point Loma.  Rich gave me his Navy Unit's "Challenge Coin" (very heavy weighted with a real cool set of instructions). The end result is a free drink for me or me buying a round of drinks for a thirsty bunch of sailors.  It was very cool seeing Rich and needless to say I'm carrying the "Challenge Coin" around all the time.

Just a Few of our Great Parents

Bob and Barbara Greene – parents of Mike Greene.  They come by the SCIAC Swim Championships (for the last fifteen years) just to check out how the Beavers are doing and give their support.
Ted Eck – father of freshmen Patric Eck.  He took some valuable time to travel to Pasadena all the way from Orange County to send his family's best wishes.  Then he had to jet back to the O.C. to check up on daughter Jaclynn Eck after her knee surgery.  Jaclynn runs for Whittier College track & field team.
Jim & Carol Seidel both Caltech '77 came all the way from Florida to visit "almost married" son Peter '01and fiancée Neto.  They enjoyed the no bugs or humanity or hurricanes and just enjoy the party and seminar weekend at the Tech.   
Kirk & Kitty with Grandma Liz Oliver – who have always been so supportive and wonderful parents, both of their sons, Tom & Dan, I got to interact when the whole Oliver Clan for seven years.  I miss our monthly or weekly visits together.  Also kudos to Ruth who graduated from Claremont last week!

Who traveled the farthest?          

Easy, that was Jamie Sherman '91 (also was one of the Big Surprises) from Sydney, Australia, who was on his way to a cousin's wedding on the east coast but left early and grabbed an extra day layover in Los Angeles.  
Jamie made the mistake of taking my springboard diving class (he had a healthy fear of heights at the beginning).  Then he came out for the diving team and began playing water polo and finished as our starting goalie.  During his Caltech career he transformed into a blond, muscular, surfing guy.  His mother had a hard time picking him out at the airport after he started down the aquatic path.