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Topics: Athletics

Nimble Kimball

By U-M Alumni Association


Dick Kimball, ’59, MA ’60, is truly a Michigan Man. He’s been doing backflips at the Big House and in the diving well for more than 50 years and counting. His name is synonymous with Michigan diving and he still puts on his old cheerleading sweater each homecoming. This video, presented by the Alumni Association’s Michigan Alumnus magazine, offers up some amazing then-and-now footage of Kimball in action. He also reveals his secret to staying young.

Share memories of your encounters with “Nimble Kimball” in the comments section.


  • Lee Waldrep - 1984

    I took a P/F Diving course from Dick Kimball when I was a sophomore at Michigan in 1982. At the end of the course, he let us go up to the 7.5 m platform. He told us what to do, but what I remember is he did a forward back flip from the platform. Perhaps not amazing, but he did into the swimming lanes (5′depth).

    I still remember that class because Keith Bostic, star football player was int he class and Dick Kimball was an amazing Michigan man.

    Lee W. Waldrep (BS 1984)


  • william Taylor - 1970, MD

    Dick was my diving coach in 1959,1960 when I was a student at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School. He was very enthusiastic then and sounds like he still is. It is nice to see he is doing so well.


  • Jay Mahler

    The amazing thing about Kimball wasn’t just that he was a fantastic diving coach with a terrific sense of humor; he knew every swimmer’s strengths, weaknesses, and times. Even years after graduation, seeing Kimball at the pool or on the streets would lead to reminiscences about my time as part of Michigan swimming that even I had almost forgotten.


  • Heller Lipsett

    I LOVE THIS MAN!!! He was my mentor, my hero, and a beloved friend. Ann Arbor and Michigan are so lucky to have kept him all these years!


  • A.J. Duffy III - 1980

    I have known Dick since my undergraduate days and when I worked in the athletic department. He is simply a class individual and has represented Michigan all over the world. He is truly a Michigan Man.