Article 034 c.1958

Water Ace Learned Late
HE'S AN EX-NAVY FROGMAN, tutor of swim champions, swim director at Lipke Pool in the summer and Nolan Junior High in the winter and you'd guess that with a background like that he learned to swim before he learned to crawl. 
Wrong guess. Harry Hauck, 19729 Coventry, who's been with the Department of Parks and Recreation since 1950-with a four-year slice out for Navy service-didn't even know how to keep himself afloat until he was 18. 
"I was shallow-end goalie on a water polo team at St. Clair Recreation," Harry laughingly recalled, "because I couldn't swim when I was 17 years old. It wasn't until the next year that I learned-and I've been involved in some kind of swimming activity ever since."
Entering Wayne State University, he became a member of the swimming team there coached by Leo Maas, and developed his specialty in the backstroke, but the Navy beckoned then. 
When he first entered service, Harry became an aerial photographer, but bided his time to await an opening in the frogman school in which he intended to enroll. 
His opportunity came in '51 when he went to Little Creek, Va., and underwent training as an underwater demolition specialist.
"At the time I went into underwater demolition," Harry mused, "there were about 450 men in this country engaged in this specialty. To give you some idea of the demands you had to meet, out of a starting class of 138, only 32 finished." He finished seventh in his graduating class. 
In 1952, he became an underwater demolition, physical training and diving instructor, then went on to submarine escape training at New London, Conn. 
Following the completion of his courses, Harry's assignments carried him throughout the seas in the Western world, including the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Arctic areas. An assignment in the Arctic included blowing up icebergs which were breaking off of the Humboldt Glacier and endangering shipping. 
While in the service, in 1954, he had a 10-day leave and decided to swim Chesapeake Bay. He accomplished the feat, and in doing so became the first amateur ever to complete the gruelling test.


Following his discharge from the service in 1955, he became swim instructor at Eastern High School and the next year was transferred to Nolan because he wanted to concentrate on lower age swim groups. 
"Years ago," he said in referring to his pre-occupation with developing young swimmers, "children could not compete until they were in high school. Now there are competitive events for children six years old. The positive results of the change can be seen from the fact that the majority of the national male and female champions are under 20 years of age." 
Harry continued his education at WSU, combining his swimming activity as both instructor and competitor with work toward a degree in geology.
In personal competition, he participated in nine national AAU water polo tournaments as playing coach or captain, and his teams finished third twice, second once and won first place in the national outdoor competition.
During his tenure as coach at Nolan, in both '56 and '57, his team won the Metropolitan water polo championship. His ability for developing talent is further illustrated by the record performances of his proteges, including Monty Blashill, Fred and John Savinsky and Carl Boyd. 
Harry has taught skin diving in classes held at Kronk Recreation, and his tentative plans include teaching them again this year for the YMCA. Harry and his wife, Caroll, are parents of a two-and-half year-old son, Harry III. 
His wife shares his enthusiasm for water sports, and is a diving champion in her own right. Recognizing the value of starting swimmers out young, Harry has his 2-1/2 year old son swimming already. 
"You might say he has the jump on me," Harry said with satisfaction.

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