RICHARD “DICK” FADGEN
1983 INDUCTION TO THE RHODE ISLAND AQUATIC HALL OF FAME
Dick began his swimming career under the late John Stoyko at the Woonsocket YMCA. After a successful A.A.U. career as a teenager in Rhode Island and New England, he came into national prominence while competing for LaSalle Academy. He not only won the Brown Interscholastic and New England championships in his breaststroke event, but was named to the national high school All-American team during his three years at LaSalle in 1952, 1953, 1954, in the breaststroke and individual medley. In 1953 he received the Brother Flavian Award as LaSalle’s outstanding student athlete. In 1954 he was a member of the U.S. All-Star swim team competing in Japan, Mexico, and Guatamala. That same year, he was the outstanding New England A.A.U. swimmer, as well as being named Rhode Island High School athlete of the year by Words Unlimited. He set a world record (which still stands) in the 200 breaststroke in an A.A.U. meet at Yale in 1954. He attended North Carolina State and made the National Collegiate All-American team in 1954, 1955, and 1956 in the 200 breaststroke and 200 butterfly events. He was A.A.U. All-American in the 200 breaststroke and 100 butterfly during those years.
Dick was an alternate on the 1956 U.S. Olympic team. In 1957 and 1958 he was named outstanding swimmer on the North Carolina State team. In 1957 he was nominated for the “Sullivan Award” – given anually to the top amateur athlete in the United States in any sport.
After graduating from North Carolina, Dick coached at Appalachian State University, before being appointed head coach of swimming at his present position at Memphis State University. In 1968 he coached the Jr. Olympic team in the Southeastern District. In 1978 Dick was selected as the outstanding AAU swimming coach in the southeastern area of the United States.