Keith “Casey” Converse has been coaching women’s swimming in the NCAA for more than 30 years. His teams at the United States Air Force Academy have accumulated more than 300 dual meet wins and two NCAA Division 2 Championships during his tenure.
As an athlete Converse swam on the USA’s 1976 Men’s team in Montreal, finishing 12th in the 400 freestyle. The following year he became the first person to swim the 1650 under 15 minutes, winning the NCAA Championship and setting the American Record for the University of Alabama.
With more than four decades observing the sport of swimming as an athlete and coach, Converse is in a unique position to reflect upon the obstacles facing the USA Women’s team in the revolutionary era of international swimming between the Munich Games and Montreal.
This book chronicles the struggles of the ’76 women’s team as they faced limited opportunities to train after high school, the emergence of high-volume training as the new standard for the sport; and the darkest cloud ever to appear over the sport-systematic steroid doping of East German swimmers by coaches and medical doctors.
In 2014 Converse served as Technical Consultant for the USA Swimming documentary The Last Gold, which chronicles the lead up to the Montreal Games and the epic final “great race” in Montreal between the USA women and the East Germans in the 4×100 freestyle relay.