Coach Wilmot “Babs” Babcock certainly knew how to win, accumulating an astounding 341-47-2 record over the course of 20 years. After starting the Williston swimming program in 1951, Coach Babcock took the team to 15 New England Championships — 11 of them in a row. This legacy also produced 15 national prep champions.
“This one’s a no-brainer. Just looking at Bab’s record speaks volumes by itself,” wrote Paul Doty ‘64, one of Mr. Babcock’s former swimmers. “But what you may not know is how advanced he was for his time. We were doing pulley weights before Doc Councilman at Indiana was!”
Coach Babcock had attended Springfield College as a wrestler, and did graduate work at Dartmouth College, and Harvard and Boston University. He was named business manager at Williston Academy in 1943.
Described as a “legend” by those who knew him, Coach Babcock’s success lay in his ability to both attract and develop some of the best swimmers in New England, said Rev. Dr. Theodore Babcock, who swam for the coach.
“Williston’s absolute dominance in swimming during his coaching years is a testament to Babs’ skill as a coach and leader,” Rev. Babcock wrote.
“Coach Babcock built a swimming dynasty at Williston,” agreed Robert Tullis ’73. “I’m sure his teams’ records will qualify him for a spot in the Hall of Fame.”
Coach Babcock passed away on May 29, 1978 and the school’s pool was named in his honor.
The Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony, dinner, and reception will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2013. Register to attend here.