Huntington High School

Huntington, Indiana

Class of 1963

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Huntington High School

Class of 1963

Gary Dilley

Gary Dilley, MSU graduate and Olympic silver medal winner in swimming during the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, at his dentist office in Cary, NC, Tues., April 8, 2008.


OLYMPIANS - GARY DILLEY (Summer 2008) » Article

By Robert Bao
Published: Summer 2008

OLYMPIANS - GARY DILLEY (Summer 2008) Member, U.S. Olympic swimming team Silver Medal, 200-meter backstroke, Summer Games, Mexico City In 1964, people in the swimming world did not know much about Gary Dilley, ’67, a freshman swimmer at Michigan State. “I was a dark horse then,” recalls Dilley, who hailed from Huntington, IN. (Dan Quayle, two years behind in high school, was also an unknown then.) At the Olympic trials that year for the 200-meter backstroke, Dilley shocked the world by winning the Olympic trials. In the finals in Mexico City, Dilley beat the world-record with a 2:10.5, but his teammate Jed Graef out-touched him for the gold with a 2:10.3, a new world record. After the Olympics, Dilley won four NCAA titles—100- and 200-yard backstroke in 1965 and 1966—and six Big Ten titles—100- and 200-yard backstroke in 1965 and 1966, and the 400-yard freestyle relay team in 1965 and 1967. He went undefeated in collegiate competition until the NCAA finals of his senior year—ironically, in his home pool at MSU. In 1965 Dilley added a world championship in Budapest, Hungary. “At that time, MSU had wonderful facilities—now they’re antiquated—and they were trying to get a dental school,” recalls Dilley. “I was disappointed when the legislature put an end to that.” Dilley went to dental school at Indiana University and moved to North Carolina in 1973. He opened a private practice in orthodontics in 1983. “I had a great time at MSU,” recalls Dilley, whose roommate was football star and fellow MSU Athletics Hall of Famer Gene Washington. “Having traveled to every campus in the Big Ten, I can tell you there was not a friendlier place than MSU. It was probably a reflection of President John Hannah, because that was his personality.”


Olympian Dr. Gary Dilley for Michigan State University, pictured in 2007, Chapel Hill, N.C.



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