Charles Graham

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Charles Graham
Swimming • West Chester

Charles Graham left an indelible mark on West Chester University as both a professor and head coach of six different sports from 1936 until his untimely death in 1951. Graham is perhaps most associated with the school’s swimming and diving program, which he began back in 1936. He did so utilizing the pool at the West Chester YMCA, as the university did not yet have its own pool. He remedied that situation in 1940 by designing a pool in Ehinger Fieldhouse with underwater observation windows so he could observe his swimmers’ strokes from underwater.

West Chester University’s nationally ranked swimming programs currently compete in the Graham Natatorium on South Campus, named for Charles Graham and dedicated in his honor in 1995. Graham authored a 52-49 record as mentor of the swimming team at WCU. He started the Mid-Atlantic Swimming Conference while coaching the Golden Rams’ swimmers.

A graduate of Springfield College in Springfield, MA, Graham also began the swimming program at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., prior to coming to West Chester, and is credited with starting the New England Intercollegiate Swimming Conference during his time at Williams.

Graham also led the West Chester cross country team to three undefeated campaigns in 1943, 1947 and 1948. He compiled a career record of 48-19-1 while heading up the harriers at WCU between 1939-50. Graham also registered a 13-11-3 record as head coach of the men’s soccer squad from 1942-45. Additionally, from 1943 through 1945 he served as head coach for men’s basketball, baseball, and tennis.

Charles Graham was inducted into the West Chester University Hall of Fame in 2009.

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