WILLIAM P. DESPRES
1084 INDUCTION TO THE RHODE ISLAND AQUATIC HALL OF FAME
Bill competed for coach Joe Watmough at the Olneyville Boys’ Club in the 1930’s. Bill was not only an outstanding swimmer, but he also won the Junior Championship Diving title in the 1 meter and 3 meter competition.
His most noteworthy swimming accomplishments were in the Senior New England Championships, where he won the 300 individual medley, 220, 440, and 800 yard freestyle. In addition, he won the 100 meter backstroke, 50 and 100 meter freestyle.
Besides his state and New England titles, Bill won the National Junior Championship in the 50 meter freestyle.
He attended North Carolina State University where he starred as a conference champion in the 100 and 200 freestyle, as well as the 200 butterfly event. Since graduating from North Carolina State, Bill has coached swimming for the Indianapolis Athletic Club. His club won the National A.A.U. Senior Outdoor Championship; as well as the National Senior Long Distance Championship.
He presently is coaching and teaching swimming at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. His record there is 165 wins and 44 losses. He has coached 3 national champions, and numerous sectional and state champions. One of his top swimmers was Mike Troy, gold medal winner on the U.S. Olympic team.