Richard “Dick” Brunoehler

Southport / Perry Meridian High School Coach, 1958 – 98

2015  Hobie Billingsley Award Winner


Dick Brunoehler coached at Southport and Perry Meridian High Schools. He was originally from Parson, Kansas where he was an All-State football player and swimmer. After serving in World War II in Japan, he attended Indiana University where he was a four-year letterman in swimming, a two-year letterman in football, and a one-year letterman on the basketball team. He taught Mathematics and Physical Education at four high schools. Prior to becoming the head swimming and diving coach at Southport in 1958, he coached basketball and track. While at Southport, his teams won four Sectional championships and 16 individual state champions who were also All-Americans.
His teams placed in the top five at the state championships from 1965-73. During Dick’s tenure at Southport High School, his swimmers and divers set five state records and one NISCA national record (Larry Lammert, 1967, 400-yard freestyle). Dick continued his teaching and coaching career when he transferred to Perry Meridian High School in 1974 where his teams won an additional three sectional championships. He retired from teaching in 1989 but continued coaching until 1998 for a total of 48 years of service.
Dick was a pioneer of swimming and diving in Indianapolis, helping to formulate the Indiana Coaches’ Constitution, By-Laws, and State awards system. His achievements and awards were many, including IHSSCA President (1969, 1970), Swim Coach of the Year (1970, 1971), AAU Diving Chairman (1972-75), NISCA Outstanding Service Award (1985), Southport Hall of Fame (1985), Beech Grove Teach of the Year (1995), 50 Year I-Man at Indiana University (1996), and he was inducted into the Indiana High School Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame in 2007.
In retirement, he volunteered at the IUPUI Natatorium in various capacities. Through age 77, he participated in Masters Diving meets across the country. Dick passed away in 2014. He was preceded in death by his son Eric, also an Indiana Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame member.
His family will remember him for his humor, his humility, his athleticism, his many accomplishments, his influence on the lives of his students and athletes, and his joy in performing clown diving. He is survived by his wife Marilyn, sons David, Phil, and Steve Brunoehler, his step-sons Brian and Aaron Rogers, twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.