Coach Soichi Sakamoto




ASCA Hall of Fame Inductee: Pre-2003

Accomplishments:

• Great Hawaiian coach who developed many of the world champions between 1948-1956.
• All of his swimmers became National Champions during this period.
 
Coach Soichi Sakamoto is the great coach responsible for modern Hawaiian swimming success. Hawaiian swimmers dominated the sport from 1912, but Buster Crabbe, in the 1932 Olympics, was their last champion of that long illustrious era. Then came a drought and Japanese-Hawaiian Coach Sakamoto, starting with children in an irrigation ditch, was developing new ideas of pace and rhythm with a metronome. His young swimmers were not the greats of Punaho School, then and still going on to Yale, but a new breed of public school swimmers going on to Ohio State and Indiana–Hirose, Nakama, Smith, Konno, Oyakawa, Onekea, Cleveland, Woolsey, Tenabe, Miki and the girls Kalama Kleinschmidt, Kawamoto and Hoe. All became national champions, most made the Olympic teams of 1948, 1952 and 1956.
 
During this period, Coach Sakamoto was sought out by swimmers all over the world, journeying to Hawaii in search of the magic touch. They found technique, method dedication and conditioning, which produced champions at all strokes and distances.