During more than 30 years as coach at Harvard and Williams, and as Olympic coach in 1956, Bob Muir has developed more than his share of champion swimmers. But whenever Muir finds time to get away from polishing his champions, he is likely to head for some neighborhood pool to spend an hour or so teaching children the proper way to dog-paddle. "I would rather get a child started right in the water," says Muir, "than turn out an All-America."
During his lifetime, in Boston, in Cambridge, in Williamstown and on the south shore of Long Island where he spends his summers, more than 35,000 youngsters have progressed from dog paddle to a six-beat crawl under Bob Muir's supervision. It is almost impossible for him to enter a pool anywhere without a bunch of kids gathering around.
Muir is due to retire soon, after 25 seasons at Williams, but it doesn't bother him a bit. "Then," he says in eager anticipation, "I can spend my full time working with the kids."