Lincoln -- University
of Nebraska Head Mens and Womens Swimming and
Diving Coach Cal Bentz announced his retirement, effective
immediately on Monday, Dec. 11, 2000.
Bentz, age 67, retires after
spending 24 years as head coach of the Husker mens squad
and eight years as head coach of the combined womens
and mens programs.
During his tenure, Nebraskas
swimming and diving teams have won 21 mens conference
championships, 10 womens conference crowns and led the
men to five consecutive top-25 finishes to finish out the
century, while guiding the women to eight consecutive top-20
finishes in his eight years at the helm of the womens
program. In 1999-2000 both Husker programs finished among
the top 20 at the NCAA Championships, as the womens
squad finished 20th and the mens placed 13th. The mens
highest finish was 10th in 1988 and 1989, while the women
posted their highest finish in 1997, placing eighth. The women
have finished no lower than 20th at the NCAA Championships
during Bentz tenure, while the men finished among the
top 20 10 times.
The Nebraska men claimed the
Big Eight Conference crown for an unprecedented 15 consecutive
years until the Huskers finished behind champion Iowa State
in 1995. By winning the final Big Eight contest in 1996, Nebraska
totaled 21 mens team championships. In the three years
of competition at the Big 12 Championships, Nebraska has finished
second to nationally prominent Texas each season.
Bentz took the reins of the
womens squad in 1993, and led the team to a runner-up
finish at the conference championships. Nebraska would go
on to win five consecutive conference crowns, the most consecutive
titles for any Husker womens swimming and diving squad,
before being upended by Texas at last seasons Big 12
Bentzs program has produced
a total of 94 men and women All-Americans (first team and
honorable mention), while guiding the Husker men to a 169-90
dual mark and the Husker women to a record of 44-22. Overall,
the Huskers have posted an all-time dual record of 324-281
(.535) for the men and 165-70 (.702) for the women.
Bentz has received accolades
and awards for his service at Nebraska, including being named
conference coach of the year six times, most recently in honor
of the first womens team Big 12 Championship in 1997.
He swept coach-of-the-year honors at the final Big Eight contest
in 1996 and has also received a Nebraska Alumni Achievement
On the international level,
Bentzs program has produced swimmers who have competed
internationally at the Olympic Games, Goodwill Games, Pan-American
Games, World Championships, European Championships, Pan Pacific
Games and World University Games. Since 1976, the Husker program
has produced 21 current and former Huskers who have competed
in the Olympics, including two-time Olympic gold medalist
and world-record holder Penny Heyns and Adam Pine who captured
a gold and a silver in Sydney.
A 1955 graduate of the University
of Nebraska, Bentz was a four-year swimming letterwinner.
He was team captain during both his junior and senior years.
In 1961 Bentz returned to his alma mater when he was named
the interim head coach of the Husker mens team. Bentz
then spent 15 years as head coach at Omaha Westside High School.
In the fall of 1978, Bentz returned as head coach of the mens