Ernst Brandsten (SWE/USA)

Honor Coach (1966)

The information on this page was written the year of their induction.

FOR THE RECORD: 1912 Olympic competitor for Sweden and 4 time USA Olympic diving coach; His male divers won all 6 medals (springboard, platform)  in 1928 Olympics; invented tapered springboard and movable fulcrum.

Ernst Brandsten of Stanford University, USA, like Mike Peppe, could stand on his swimming record alone, but his divers would be mighty unhappy if he did.

He was active for 51 years as a ski jumper, diver and coach, competing from 1897 through the 1912 Olympics for Sweden where he married his first Olympic diving champion, Greta Johansson.

After Sweden, Ernie shipped out on a windjammer, helped chart the coast of Alaska for the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey, ended up at Stanford where his college divers, Hall of Famers Pinkston, White and Desjardins dominated the 1920, ’24 and ’28 Olympics plus everything stateside before, during, between and after those Games.

Brandsten was U.S. Olympic diving coach four times.  He is considered the Father of Modern Diving.  He invented the tapered springboard and movable fulcrum, developed divers who went on to coach and develop champions as he had.  In 1924, Brandsten did something no diving coach before or since has ever accomplished, when his Stanford-trained divers won all six male diving medals, placing 1, 2, 3 in both springboard and tower at the Olympic Games in Amsterdam.  Lest it sound like diving alone, Olympic swimmers Norman Ross, Ludy Langer and Hall of Fame water polo player Wally O’Connor were also Ernie’s boys.