Frank Guthrie (AUS)

Honor Coach (1991)

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

FOR THE RECORD: Coach of OLYMPIANS: Jan Andrew (1960: 1 silver, 1 bronze), Gary Chapman (1956: 1 bronze), Lorraine Crapp (1956: 2 gold, 1 silver; 1960: 1 bronze), John Monkton (1956: 1 silver), Sandra Morgan (1956: 1 gold), Geoffrey Shipton (1960: 1 silver, 1 bronze); COMMONWEALTH CHAMPIONS: Beverley Bainbridge (1958: 1 gold), Gary Chapman (1956: 1 gold; 1958: 1 gold), Lorraine Crapp (1954: 2 gold), John Monkton (1958: 2 gold), Sandra Morgan (1958: 1 gold), Kathy Wainwright (1966: 1 gold); OLYMPIC COACH: 1956, 1960.

Although his coaching career was cut short by an untimely death at the age of 54, Frank Guthrie accomplished more than most men do in a full lifetime.  He put Australia on the international map as the premier swimming country during the last half of the 1950s.

Frank began his swimming career at age 15 by winning the New South Wales 220 yard freestyle junior championship, but within five years he was coaching Sydney’s Bankstown.  His first internationally known product was Don Talbot who realized superlative success as a backstroker and who became Guthrie’s assistant in 1950 before building a dynamic coaching career of his own.

Throughout the years, Guthrie produced numerous Olympic champions and international standouts.  His athletes have amassed three Olympic gold medals, four silver medals, and four bronze medals.  His historic swimmers include: Hall of Famer Lorraine Crapp (2 gold, 1 silver 1956 Olympics; 1 bronze 1960 Olympics; 2 gold 1954 Commonwealth Games and holder of every freestyle record except the 1500m), Sandra Morgan ( 1 gold 1956 Olympic; 1 gold 1958 Commonwealth Games), Geoffrey Shipton (1 silver 1956 Olympics, 2 gold 1958 Olympics), John Monkton (1 silver 1956 Olympics; 2 gold 1958 Commonwealth Games), Janice Andrew (1 silver, 1 bronze 1960 Olympics), Gary Chapman (1 bronze 1956 Olympics, 1 gold 1956, 1958 Commonwealth Games), Kathy Wainwright (1 gold 1956 Commonwealth Games), and Beverly Bainbridge (1 gold 1958 Commonwealth Games) who later became his bride.

Although he generated a long list of world class aquatic athletes, he was also an innovator in the sport.  He helped pioneer the application of interval training which had been initiated by fellow countryman and sports scientist, Frank Cotton.  He also effectively utilized and improved Bob Kiphuth’s calisthenics dry land training method with the use of pulley weight machines.

Frank gave freely of his ideas.  He toured Europe and the United States, but never left his swimmers for too long as there were more world records to set.  As Australia’s Olympic coach in 1956 and 1960, he is remembered as the leader of Australian swimming who produced magnificent teams of young men and women who set new standards in swimming.