Ray Obermiller, Grinnell's "winningest" coach, is also its most recent retiree. 'Obe' hung up his whistle last March after an illustrious 29-year, 20-championship career as swimming coach. A Grinnell staff member since 1966, he had his first conference title team in 1970. Since then his men's teams took the MWC crown 16 more times, including a string of eight in a row. Obermiller-coached women's teams have been champions three of the last four years. Success in athletics was measured by Obermiller in terms of how well the participation enriched the educational experience of the student. "The emphasis here is on participation but we try to motivate the students to do the best they can and thereby develop them as persons. That's what liberal arts athletics should be," he says. An Iowan all the way, 'Obe' was born and raised in Clinton and attended Iowa State where his performance as a diver helped the Cyclones win the Big Seven championship in 1951. He received an M.A. at the University of South Dakota while coaching and advising at Sioux City Central High School for 11 years. Sioux City has named him to its Athletics Hall of Fame. Obermiller wore two hats for most of his Grinnell career. He also was Grinnell's first director of academic advising and testing, a position he held for 25 years. 'Obe' is proud of his athletes' achievements, both in the water and in the classroom. Eighteen of his swimmers won All-America honors by placing at NCAA national meets while two divers were national champions. One big factor in the Obermiller success formula was spring-break training trips to Florida. His pride endures as he shares in the students' post-graduate accomplishments. The legendary coach says, "I was fortunate to work in a place like this for 29 years. I hope I have changed some lives." To which his former students would say "Amen."