Coach Dave Armbruster

Dave Armbruster

ASCA Hall of Fame Inductee: Pre-2003

University of Iowa

  • Coached University of Iowa swim team for over 30 years.
  • His ideas on technique helped bring the butterfly stroke into being as a fourth stroke for national and international competition.
  • President of the College Coaches Association in 1938.
  • Author of Swimming and Diving textbook on competitive swimming.
  • 1966 International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Coach.

David Alvin Armbruster was the first swimming coach at the University of Iowa (1917-1958). In 193,4 Armbruster refined a method to bring the arms forward over the water in a breaststroke. He called this style “butterfly”. While the butterfly was difficult, it brought a great improvement in speed. One year later, in 1935, Jack Sieg, a swimmer also from the University of Iowa, developed a kick technique involving swimming on his side and beating his legs in unison, similar to a fish tail, and then modified the technique afterward to swim it face down. He called this style Dolphin fishtail kick. Armbruster and Sieg quickly found that combining these techniques created a very fast swimming style consisting of butterfly arms with two dolphin kicks per cycle.

He passed away on August 5th, 1985, at 94 years old.