Fred A. Cady (USA)

Honor Coach (1969)

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

FOR THE RECORD: Coach of 4 Olympic diving teams – 1928, 1932, 1936, 1948; Coach of 4 Olympic gold medalists; Coach of University of Southern California for 33 years; at one time his divers held all U.S. and World Diving Championships.

Honor coach Fred Cady (1885-1960) was born in a beach resort (Asbury Park, New Jersey) and died near a swimming pool (Los Angeles, California) 75 years later.  While the water was his first love, swimmer, diver, gymnast Cady was a man of many talents.  He was raised in a supercharged atmosphere of art and politics.  His father was the show business artist from whom Fred got his early training as a painter and sculptor.  His mother was the daughter of U.S. Senator Austin Patterson from whom Fred inherited the politics of friendly persuasion so necessary to survive as a swimming and diving coach.  Fred Cady was a direct descendent of women suffrage pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton, indicating he may have had the heritage to cope with age-group mothers.

He did sculptures of his famous divers and sketches of the famous swimmers of his time.  He did many oil paintings and especially liked to paint westerns and horses.  His portrait of the famous Azucar hung in the Santa Anita Los Angeles Turf Club.

Fred was an American Olympic coach from 1928 through 1948.  His youngest Olympic champion was 13-year-old Marjorie Gestring (1936 team).

Cady, once a circus strongman and gymnast, was well known for his wit and well-waxed mustache.  The year the Olympic team wore berets, someone asked why the Americans had a French coach!

He started coaching in 1904 in Philadelphia at the YMCA.  About 1918 he trained Olga Dorfner who became the first American girl to break a world’s record.  Fred Cady toured Southern California in 1919 then moved west to coach at the Los Angeles Athletic Club and the University of Southern California for 33 years.  In both men’s and women’s swimming and diving, he produced National and Olympic champions including Dutch Smith and Mickey Riley.  At one time Cady divers held all U.S. and world diving championships. In addition to Olga Dorfner, Cady’s famous swimmers included Olympians Buster Crabbe, Paul Wolff and many others.

None were more talented and colorful than their illustrious coach.