Olympian, IU swimmer Troy dies at 78

Indiana lost swimming great Mike Troy this weekend.

Troy died at the age of 78 on Saturday. He was an Olympian in 1960 — featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated beforehand — and won gold in the men’s 200-meter butterfly and the 800 freestyle relay. Both were won with world-record times.

At IU, Troy swam for legendary coach Doc Counsilman from 1960-62 and won three NCAA titles and five Big Ten crowns. He also won six AAU National Championships and three Pan Am Games gold medals.

Troy was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1971 and was later a charter member of the Indiana University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1982.

“I had the good fortune to spend time with Mike Troy when he was the coach of the Walnut Creek Aqua Bears in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Tempe Rio Salatto Swim Club in Phoenix, Arizona,” IU head swimming coach Ray Looze said in a release.

“He was always so very kind to me and this was before I ever coached at Indiana University. I will always remember him as one of my dearest friends.”
When Troy retired from swimming, he became a naval officer and was awarded the Silver Star for distinguished service in Vietnam.


  1. This will date me, but I just don’t believe they make them like they used to.

    I thought it sounded like an incredibly full life for Mike Troy (Olympian, 2 gold medals, world records, coaching)…and then the last sentence bowled me over.

    So much of sports seems so full of greed and nonsense. Talent, though it can be so immensely impressive, is often splashing around in the puddles of petty narcissism. Few give service to anything but a mirror to gloat. They prop themselves up as heroic figures without living truly heroic lives.

    Nope, I know they just don’t make them like they used to.

  2. Mike Troy was a truly great person. He coached me in Bloomington when we had a team but no pool, no practice time, and no coach. He was a star but you would never know it. I will never forget sitting on the bleachers in the “old Men’s Pool” after practice listening to President Kennedy talk about the Cuban Missal Crisis. Mike would have been active duty the next day! He always gave to others! I loved him like a big brother! The world is much reduced by his loss!

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