Harry Gallagher, greatest recognized for being the coach of Dawn Fraser when she gained three straight Olympic golds within the 100 free, died final Thursday on the age of 96.
Gallagher’s profession as a coach started in the course of the 1940s when he began educating different members of the military tips on how to swim. Following his navy profession, he encountered Dawn Fraser swimming at a pool referred to as the Balmain Baths, a facility that has since been renamed after Fraser.
All through his teaching profession, “Mr. Gallagher,” as he was typically recognized, labored with a few of Australia’s best swimmers, together with Fraser, Jon Henricks, Lorraine Crapp, Michael Wenden, Brad Cooper, and Lyn McClements. In 1956 Fraser and Henricks grew to become the primary Olympians to win each the lads’s and girls’s 100 free in the identical 12 months for Australia. His success as a coach led to him serving as the pinnacle coach of Australia’s staff on the 1968 Olympic Video games. At these Video games, he lead a staff that averaged simply 16 years of age to 17 Olympic medals.
He was most recognized for his work with Fraser, one in all solely three swimmers to win the identical occasion thrice on the Olympic Video games. Throughout her three Olympic Video games (1956-1964), Fraser gained eight medals. Throughout her profession, she set 41 World Information and gained 29 Australian Nationwide Titles. In 1962 she grew to become the primary lady to swim the 100 free in beneath a minute. She was named the Australian of the 12 months in 1964 and was acknowledged by the 1996 Olympic Organizing Committee as one of many 7 best Olympic athletes of all time.
Additionally coaching beneath Gallagher was Jon Henricks, who, together with successful Olympic gold within the 100 free in 1956, additionally gained gold as part of Australia’s 800 free relay. He would go on to assist the College of Southern California win the NCAA Championship meet in 1960 earlier than ending fourth within the 100 free on the 1960 Olympics.
Fraser mentioned of her former coach:
“He will likely be remembered for the way in which he revolutionised the artwork and science of being a swimming coach, creating technical excellence and perfection in performances, in addition to producing skilled attitudes. Our ideas and greatest needs exit to his household, family members and all those that had been fortunate to name him their pal. “He taught me every little thing I do know. He was at all times Mr Gallagher, or coach to me. By no means Harry. However we had a stupendous affection for one another. I might not have succeeded with out him. Mr Gallagher taught me self-discipline. For those who missed a session, you doubled up the subsequent day. That’s the way it was. We’ve stayed in contact all these years. I really feel I belong to his household and him to mine.If he didn’t know one thing, he would ask the highest professionals in that area. If he wished to know in regards to the coronary heart, he introduced in Professor Edward Each, who invented the moveable electrocardiograph machine. He trialed it on me and Jon Henricks. He at all times went to the highest individuals. He was honest dinkum, a real Aussie.”
In 1984 Gallagher was inducted into the Worldwide Swimming Corridor of Fame, and two years later was awarded the Order of Australia Medal. In 2020 he was honored as a Life Member of Swimming Australia. The Australian Swimming Coaches and Lecturers Affiliation has additionally acknowledged him as each a Platinum and Grasp Coach.
Outdoors of his teaching, Gallagher was additionally the writer of quite a few teaching books. Kieren Perkins, the president of Swimming Australia mentioned that, whereas he by no means met Mr. Gallagher, his teaching strategies had been typically employed by his coaches in his coaching. In response to Perkins, this was, “a testomony of how revered he was within the business and the way his strategies stood the check of time.”
Gallagher’s passing comes simply two months after the death of another Australian coaching great, Don Talbot. Talbot served as an Olympic coach for Australia from 1964-1972.