Win Young: He's watching divers for eternity

2011-06-29T00:00:00Z 2012-11-30T13:48:55Z Win Young: He's watching divers for eternity Arizona Daily Star
June 29, 2011 12:00 am

In celebration of Arizona's centennial, the Star will feature our picks for the 100 best athletes, moments and teams.

Throughout the summer, we will showcase our list - with the first 90 in no particular order. In August, Greg Hansen will choose his top 10, with a column on each.

Win Young

Achievement

Erwin "Win" Young was a six-time All-American at Indiana University, won a bronze diving medal in the 1968 Olympics and coached the Arizona Wildcats.

When he passed away five years ago, Young had an unusual request: to be cremated in an Arizona Diving T-shirt, put into a bronze urn and interred into the then-new Hillenbrand Aquatic Center.

There he remains, residing in the west pillar at the 10-meter level of the diving tower.

Watching diving all day "is what he always wanted to do," said Michele Mitchell, the former UA diving coach now serving as the program's director of operations. She joked that he can "talk everyone off that might be fearful."

The Phoenix Central High School graduate received six All-America honors at Indiana from 1967 to 1969, leading the team to national titles in each of his last two years and Big Ten titles three times.

In 1968, at the Mexico City Games, he won third in the 10-meter platform event.

After graduating, he coached at Army and the UA. Starting in Tucson in 1973, he led the Wildcats to their first-ever scoring dives in the NCAA championships.

Young died in 2006 of bladder cancer, at age 58, after returning to Tucson to help Mitchell.

His favorite phrases - "No Wimps" and "No Fear" are inscribed atop the tower.

Hometown; age

Phoenix; died in 2006

Quotable

"Many visiting diving coaches who have visited since the new pool was built have asked me, 'What happened to him? Where is he?' When I tell them the story, they all nod and tell me that is the best place for him to be." - Mitchell

Patrick Finley

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