I did not know this man, but I've heard he was really special. UM just sent this out. Married 66 years and a member of the UM Sports Hall of Fame. Check out his accomplishments. This was written by Camron Ghorbi, UM assistant director of communications for athletics. Coach Diaz was 89 years old.
Susan Miller Degnan.
UM MOURNS LOSS OF LONGTIME COACH BILL DIAZ
Legendary figure helped establish swimming & diving programs at Miami
MIAMI – Bill Diaz, who served as the University of Miami swimming & diving coach for 14 illustrious seasons, passed away Thursday morning at his Palmetto Bay home.
“I was saddened to learn of the passing of Bill Diaz,” Athletics Director Blake James said. “Bill established our swimming & diving program as a model for others to follow, and turned the University of Miami into an epicenter for national and international swimming.”
Diaz, who was tapped into Iron Arrow – the highest honor attained at the University of Miami – in 1995, coached the Hurricanes to four top 10 NCAA Championships finishes and ended in the top 20 at the NCAA Championships 11 times. His men’s teams won three national independent championships (1974, 1977, 1982), while his 1975 women’s squad won six individual national titles – the most ever by a Hurricanes team in a single year.
Under Diaz’ direction in 1973, Miami became the first college in the United States to offer women swimming scholarships. Two years later, the Hurricanes women’s swimming & diving team won the first of back-to-back AIAW National Championships.
The UM Sports Hall of Fame inductee coached 55 collegiate All-Americans during his time with the Hurricanes. In 2007, the University of Miami and the City of Coral Gables recognized him with the installation of an electronic scoreboard at UM’s Norman Whitten Student Union Pool and named it in his honor.
Diaz’ accomplishments on the international scene were equally as impressive. He served on staff or managed five USA National swimming teams, including the USA team that took first at the World Aquatic Championships in 1982.
Prior to his years as head coach of the Hurricanes, Bill had a very successful career as a high school coach. Between 1953 and 1970, Bill guided first Miami Jackson High and then Miami Springs High to a total of nine state titles.
“On behalf of the University of Miami family, I extend our thought and prayers to the Diaz family. Bill was and always will be a member of the Hurricanes family and his legacy will live on through the young men and women who represent our great institution.“
Bill is survived by Martha, his wife of 66 years, his three sons Bill, John and Rick, their wives Rosana, Tracey and Chrissy, his sister Alice Elmore, five grandchildren, five great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. at Oak Lawn Memorial North, located at Caballero Rivero Woodlawn, 3344 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL.
In lieu of flowers, the family is request contributions in Coach Diaz’ honor be directed to the UM Sports Hall of Fame, in care of Executive Director John Routh:
UM Sports Hall of Fame
5821 San Amaro Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146