SUNDAY, January 13, 2008

The San Juan STAR


Detroit to honor veteran swimmer Harry Hauck

     On Jan. 25, the Parks and Recreation Department of the city of Detroit will honor one of Puerto Rico's best known distance swimmers and environmentalists, former Navy Frogman Harry Hauck.
     "The Harry Hauck Recreation Swimming Relays" will be held in the city of Detroit on that day to honor the veteran swimmer and coach. The event was organized at the behest of a group of Hauck's ex-swimmers, who petitioned the city to recognize Hauck's contribution to Detroit's swimming program.  
     Hauck learned to swim at a  recreation center on Detroit's east side at the age
of 18 and went on to compete in many AAU swim meets.

     He earned his varsity swimming letter in 1951 at Wayne State University while working for the Detroit Recreation Department as a swimming instructor.
Later, during the Korean War, he joined the U.S. Navy and became one of it famous Frogmen. After his naval discharge in 1955, he returned to college and picked up his position as a swimming instructor for the Recreation Department.
     In the ensuing years, he coached and trained many swimming champions at his recreation center. Among his proteges were one world record holder and Olympian and many city, state, national, international, high school,
 Big Ten, NCAA, AAU senior and age-group

swimmers and water polo players.
In 1964, Hauck moved to Puerto Rico to coach at the Caribe Hilton Swim and Tennis Club. In the years that followed, Hauck introduced men's and women's water polo, women's synchronized swimming and masters swimming into the Puerto Rico arena. He was head coach of Puerto Rico's men's water polo team for two CCCAN Games and one Pan American Game. He was inducted into the Puerto Rico Sports Hall of Fame in 1969. Hauck was also known for his ultra long-distance swimming feats, having swum non-stop from St. Thomas to Puerto Rico at age 55. He also swam a

 relay with his family across the English Channel at age 57, swam around Puerto Rico at age 60 (Say NO to Drugs) and twice swam 24 hours non-stop at the Escambron Lagoon to highlight AIDS awareness at the ages of 65 and 66.
He also is a scuba diving instructor and environ- mentalist who has been going underwater with his diving students at public beaches and picking up trash for the last 35 years.
     Hauck has been nominated for induction into Wayne State University Athletic Hall of Fame in February 2008. His name also has been submitted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame.