Ray Essick, men's varsity swim coach, is leaving Harvard to assume new duties as National Competitive Swimming Administrator for the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Robert B. Watson '37, director of athletics, announced yesterday.
Although his career at Harvard was very successful, some players had difficulty in dealing with Essick as a coach. "Sometimes the team had questions about where Essick was taking us as a group and as individuals," swimmer George Kiem '77 said yesterday. Essick was not available for comment.
Essick was considered a favorite to receive the newly created position, where he will play a crucial role in America's national swimming program, Baaron B. Pittenger, associate director of athletics, said yesterday.
Pittenger added that Essick was "an outstanding coach" during his three-year stay and was backed for the new position by Watson and the American Swim Coaches Association.
Essick succeeded Don Gambril in 1973 after seven years as head swimming coach at Southern Illinois University where he compiled a 64-21 record over ten years. At Harvard, Essick coached the Crimson swimmers to a 26-1 dual meet record.