Ray Daughters (USA)
Honor Coach (1971)
FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1936, 1948 (U.S. Women’s Swimming Coach); 1952, 1956, 1964 (Official Swimming Photographer); 1960 (Manager of Men’s Swimming Team); Chairman AAU Men’s Swimming Committee (1957-1959); Chairman U.S. Men’s Olympic Swimming Committee (1960); Coached Washington Athletic Club swimmers to 30 world records, 301 American records, 64 national championships.
Ray Daughters, the late, great coach of the Washington Athletic Club, lived most of his life in Seattle, moving there from Denver when he was ten. He grew up near water and was the sprint and distance swimming champion of the Pacific Northwest in the early 1900s. When the Illinois Athletic Club’s record-breaking men’s swimming team, coached by Hall of Famer Bill Bachrach, exhibited in Seattle in 1914, Daughters finished a close second to Arthur Raithel, then the national 500 yard freestyle champion. During World War I, as Chief Petty Officer at the Seattle Naval Training Station, he was in charge of swimming, during which time thousands of men were taught to swim.
Daughters’ two most famous swimmers were Hall of Famers Helene Madison and Jack Medica, the USA’s top freestylers in the 1932 and 1936 Olympics respectively. His other Olympic swimmers were Marylou Petty, Olive McKean and Nancy Ramey. His W.A.C. swimmers over the years held 30 world records, 301 American records and won 64 National Championships.
Daughters started coaching at the Seattle Crystal Pool where he produced Helene Madison and then move d to the Washington Athletic Club when it was built in 1930. He became Director of Athletics in 1942 and retired in December of 1964. Internationally, Daughters wore the USA uniform at every Olympics from 1936 through 1964. He served as Women’s swimming coach in Berlin in 1936 and again at London in 1948.
In 1952, 1956, and 1964 at Helsinki, Melbourne and Tokyo, he was official swimming photographer. In 1960 he was Manager of the men’s swimming team at Rome. During the years 1957-59, he served as Chairman of the AAU Men’s Swimming Committee and in 1960 was Chairman of the U.S. Men’s Olympic Swimming Committee.