Thomas K. Cureton Jr. (USA)

Honor Contributor (1980)

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

FOR THE RECORD:  For 35 years, the foremost lecturer and demonstrator on physical fitness in the United States.  Published 1000 papers, books and research monographs in over 40 years; 25 years Chairman, national YMCA Committee, developing their National Aquatic Program; 12 years Professor of Health & Physical Education and Director of Aquatics (and coach) at Sprinfield College; 28 years Professor of Physical Education and Director of Physical Fitness Labs at the University of Illinois; First physical fitness lab in the United States; Numerous studies and research on swimming and swimming champions.

Dr. T. K. Cureton is honored in the Swimming Hall of Fame not so much for his early career as a Yale swimmer and Springfield swimming coach but as the swimming post-graduate who did most to promote the wider field of physical education fitness and testing in all sports. In this broader scope he pioneered the fitness tests and research programs that helped his first love “swimming” into a new dimension with scientific coaching techniques.  He was the “starter” in tests and measurements, the first to try and show why the champions swam faster and how these principles could be applied to others.  His swim coach disciples Charles Silvia, Bill Heusner, Jim Counsilman, Don Van Rossen, Earl Zeigler and so many others have gone on to head university human energy resource and testing facilities that rival Cureton’s original lab at Illinois.   Dr. Cureton is the world’s first and foremost salesman of physical fitness.  Competitor Cureton, architect of the YMCA’s National Aquatic Program for youth, returned as a senior citizen to big personal victories in Masters swimming.