Bentz Announces Retirement
Lincoln -- University of Nebraska Head Men’s and Women’s 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 men’s squad and eight years as head coach of the combined women’s and men’s programs.

During his tenure, Nebraska’s swimming and diving teams have won 21 men’s conference championships, 10 women’s 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 women’s program. In 1999-2000 both Husker programs finished among the top 20 at the NCAA Championships, as the women’s squad finished 20th and the men’s placed 13th. The men’s 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 men’s 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 women’s 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 women’s swimming and diving squad, before being upended by Texas at last season’s Big 12 Championships.

Bentz’s 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 women’s 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 Award.

On the international level, Bentz’s 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 men’s 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 men’s squad.