P.O. Box 139
Claremont, Western Australia 6010
My Life After Patton?
Attended Eastern Michigan University from 1966-70, swam on the EMU varsity
which won the NAIA championship in 68 and 69
Served in the US Navy from 1970-73 (Vietnam vet)
Completed MS degree in Education at EMU in 1974
Worked as a school teacher and part- time (more like two full-time jobs)
swimming coach in north Queensland (Australia) for two years
Traveled the world for about a year (Asia and Africa mostly) and then went
back to Indiana University (Bloomington) to begin work on doctorate in
Sport Science, served as Doc Councilman's assistant from 76-82 (one year
break during the 1980-81 academic year to teach and coach at Albion College,
NCAA Division 3)
Completed my doctorate in 1982 and returned to Australia as the Head Swimming
Coach at the State Swimming Centre in Melbourne (Victoria) - ran a very
successful program that produced swimmers for every Australian Team during
the 80's (including Olympic medalists)
Assistant Coach for the Australian Olympic Team in 1988 and 1992
Moved on to become the Head Coach of the South Australian Sports Institute
(Adelaide, SA) from 1988-90
Moved again to Canberra (Australia's national capital) to become the Head
Women's Swimming Coach at the Australian Institute of Sport
Changed jobs after the Barcelona Olympics to become the Director of the
National Sports Research Centre (a program of the Australian Sports Commission),
then served as the National Coaching Director for Australian Swimming
Numerous research projects, publications, author of one book (working on
a second), and international lecturer in sport science (mostly the physiology
and biomechanics of swimming)
Became an Australian citizen in 1990 after marrying Trish, who I met in
Melbourne back in 1984
In January this year (1998) I accepted a position as the Head Swimming
Coach at the Western Australian Institute of Sport in Perth (my home pool
is where the World Championships were held in 1991 and 1998). My new position
job is the head swimming coach at the Western Australian Institute of Sport
(WAIS) in Perth. My duties include a mixture of talent identification,
sport science applications, work with the State development squads (i.e.
elite junior swimmers) and coaching education. Along with the hands-on
work with swimmers and coaches there are a number of administrative duties
which include the planning and administration of programs and budgets for
swimming in Western Australia. I'll also be Head Coach of the National
Swim League team from WA, and serve on the national coaching staff in preparation
for the Commonwealth Games later this year. (1/98)
Dr Ralph Richards is currently the Coaching and Development Co-ordinator
for Australian Swimming Inc. Prior to this appointment he held the following
positions in Australian sport:
During his senior coaching career Ralph placed swimmers on Olympic, Commonwealth
Games, World Championships, and Pan Pacific and World University Games
Teams. He was appointed the Head Coach of the Victorian State Team on their
China tour of 1985; served as an Assistant Coach on the 1988 Olympic Team
(Seoul); Head Coach of the 1991 World University Games Team (Sheffield),
and headed Australia's altitude training program in 1992 (Colorado Springs).
He coached backstroker Nicole Stevenson (nee Livingstone) throughout her
age-group career and guided her to a World Short-Course Record in the 200m
and an Olympic Bronze medal in 1992 (Barcelona).
Director of the National Sports Research Centre of the Austalian Sports
Senior Women's Swimming Coach at the Australian Institute of Sport
Head Swimming Coach of the South Australian Sports Institute,
Head Swimming Coach at Melbourne's State Swimming Centre.
Ralph completed his Doctoral Degree program in 'Human Performance Studies'
from Indiana University in 1982, under the direction of Dr James (Doc)
Counsilman. From 1976 through mid-'82 he served as a research assistant
to Doc and helped run the summer camp and club programs at IU. During a
single season sojourn as an NCAA Division III coach in 1980-81, he brought
the Albion College men's and women's swimming teams to national attention
(top 10 finish for the women).
Ralph's coaching history goes back to 1973 when he first emigrated to
Australia as a mathematics teacher posted to Townsville; he began working
with a local swimming club and a new career soon began. During his swimming
career he was a nationally ranked age-group swimmer, a scholarship athlete
at Eastern Michigan University, and a member of EMU's National (i.e. NAIA)
Champion Swimming Teams of the late 1960's.
Australian Swimming Inc. (1994-current) - National Coaching and Development
Australian Sports Commission (1993) - National Sports Research Centre Co-ordinator
[manager of NSRC programs: Applied Sports Research / Laboratory Standards
Australian Institute of Sport (1990-92) - Senior Swimming Coach [Head Coach
of AIS Women's Swimming 1991-92].
South Australian Sports Institute (1988-89) - Head Swimming Coach.
State Swimming Centre, Melbourne (1983-88) - Head Swimming Coach.
Indiana University, USA (1982-83) - Graduate Student Research Co-ordinator,
Offce of the Dean of Physical Education.
Albion College, USA (1981-82) - Head Swimming Coach and Aquatics Centre
Indiana University, USA (1976-81) - Graduate Student and Assistant Swimming
Coach [personal assistant to Dr James Counsilman].
Heatley State Fligh School, Townsville Qld. (1974-75) - Mathematics Teacher.
United States Navy (1970-73) - Lieutenant, Supply Corps.
Awards and Professional Credentials
Doctor of Physical Education Degree (Exercise Science) Indiana University,
Master of Science Degree (Educational Psychology) Indiana University, USA
Master of Science Degree (Physical Education) Eastern Michigan University,
Bachelor of Science Degree (Mathematics) Eastern Michigan University, USA
Swimming Team Appointments
Level 3 National Coaching Accreditation - Australian Coaching Council
International Coaching Studies Diploma - International Olympic Committee
Outstanding Achievement Award - Australian Swimming Coaches Association
Victorian Coach of the Year 1987 and 1988 - ASCA Victorian Branch
National Event Coach 1987 and 1988- Australian Swimming Inc.
Board of Directors ASCA 1983 through 1992 / 1994-96
Board of Management South Australian Amateur Swimming Assn.1988-89
International Snorts Proiects
1985 - Head Coach Victorian Team, China Tour
1988 - Assistant Coach Australian Olympic Swimming Team, Seoul
1990 - Assistant Coach Australian Institute of Sport Team, California Tour
1991- Head Coach Australian World University Games Swimming Team, Sheffield
1992 - Assistant Coach Australian Team, Olympic Sprint Camp, Honolulu
1992 - Head Coach Australian Team, Altitude Training Camp, Colorado Springs
Project Manager: Australia - China Council exchange program of sport scientists,
National Sports Research Centre;1993.
Member of project team for sport science and coaching consultancy to the
Indonesian Olympic Committee, co-ordinated by the Australian Coaching Council;1994.
Member of project team visiting Guangzhou, China, as part of Aussie Sport
program of the Australian Sports Commission;1994.
Conducted coaching education program in Indonesia as part of the Federation
Internationale De Natation Amateur (FINA) Olympic development program;1994/95/96.
Provided consultant services to the Malaysian Swimming Union and the National
Sports Council of Malaysia;1994.
Conducted coaching education programs in Malaysia;1995.
Some Things I Remember:
Coaching Swimming: An Introductorv Manual © 1996
The Swimming Maching © 1997 (editor)
Editorial Board "Active Sport for Life" Magazine
Author of numerous Journal and Magazine articles
Like everyone else, I remember the cold water at Brennan Pools!
I also remember some great friends and a lot of hard work in the pool
(whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger). Maybe that's where
I got my work ethic, if it is, then I have Harry and Sully to thank for
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