Kay Vilen (USA)
Honor Coach (1978)
FOR THE RECORD: Her Santa Clara Aquamaids swept team, duet and solo titles at the 1971 and 1975 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS and the 1975 PAN AMERICAN GAMES; Her 29 National Champions won a total of 42 Senior National titles (16 solo, 12 duet, 14 team).
From the late 1960s, after George Haines brought Kay Vilen to Santa Clara until her untimely death in 1976, Mrs. Vilen was the winningest coach in the whole world of swimming, diving, water polo, and synchronized swimming. Her Santa Clara Aquamaids won every synchronized swimming event in every World Championship up to that time and duplicated this sweep in the 1975 pan American and Pan-Pacific Games. Her nickname “Pooh Bear” belies her toughness, but indicated her compassion for her swimmers.