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by Norm Bower

July 19, 2000

Ransom Arthur recipient, long-time coach and All-American

"Swimming Past 50 (Ageless Athletic Series)" written in 1999 by Mel Goldstein and Dave Tanner can be found by clicking on the link "Swimming Past 50" at Mel has many records:

Pool All-American - 1990, 1991, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009

Long Distance All-American - 1984, 1986, 1997, 1998, 1999

All Star - Long Distance 1999

Mel Goldstein, 1997 Ransom Arthur Award Winner

The Captain Ransom Arthur M.D. Award goes annually to a person who best supports the objectives of masters swimming. It is the highest honor bestowed by United States Masters Swimming. Mel Goldstein was nominated for the Ransom Arthur Award by the Oregon LMSC. Perhaps not surprising if Mel were from Portland or Corvallis. But Mel's zip code is far from the Pacific Ocean. He hails from Indianapolis, Ind. It's just that his reputation as a swimmer and leader stretches from coast to coast, so the folks in Oregon decided he was worth nominating. Then the awards committee determined he was worth selecting!

In characteristic humble fashion, Mel says, "To have someone outside of my LMSC think my efforts and contributions to USMS were worthy of a nomination was very rewarding. Winning was a very humbling experience, and I simply must say 'thank you' to the selection committee. The thought I had achieved the highest award from USMS for my contributions and that I would stand next to the likes of June Krauser and Ted Haartz was beyond belief." The years since the award presentation have blurred some of the comments made about Mel, but one stands out for him. "He may be small in stature, but he is tall in dedication."

Considering his monumental level of achievement as a swimmer and coach, he says he is motivated to stay active in USMS because "it is an organization and activity I believe in and a lifestyle I have adopted. It has diversity of age and gender and provides a vehicle for those who want to use aquatics as a means of exercise for healthier lifestyle."

He drew inspiration from his own college coach, the legendary Doc Counsilman of Indiana University. Goldstein said, "Doc taught three things that I have lived my life by ... "Believe in yourself," "try not to be something you are not," and "be the best you can." As a coach, I would not classify myself as a technician, however I feel I have the ability to motivate others as Doc motivated me. He told me that the most important thing to a swimmer was his or her name, and the most important topic is about them. So, every practice I coach, I make sure I talk to each swimmer by name and say something about their swimming. I want the swimmers to have an enjoyable time at each practice, so, if they do, they will be back."

Goldstein added, "As for my organizational skills, I owe a great deal to Dale Neuburger, (presently FINA vice president). In the early 1980s he called me with the news that he had won the 1983 USMS Long Course National Championships (for Indianapolis). Through his leadership and my willingness to learn, and after having been involved with several international and national championships, I think I have become a good meet director."

Mel advises the next generation of USMC leaders to delegate responsibilities and to always be thinking about finding a replacement—for the health of the organization. He said, "Their legacy will live on and the new leader with new energy and ideas will take the club or LMSC to the next level. Coaches need to think outside the box to make their programs exciting for themselves as well as their members." Swimmer, coach, author, leader—Mel Goldstein has done it all. And that's why he is a most deserving winner of the Ransom Arthur Award.

based on comments by Mel Goldstein in December 2010.

USMS President (September 1993 - September 1996)

It is 1996 and one hardly knows where to start in telling about Mel Goldstein's Masters swimming activities - administrator/leader, organizer, coach, international meet director, national and world record holder—he's right at the top. In this setting of All American achievements, it's more fitting to start with Mel's swimming accomplishments.

Mel Goldstein has been honored twice on the All-American rosters - in 1989 and 1993 - as well as Long Distance All-American in 1986. He has won national championships in the 100 fly, 200 and 400 Individual Medley and the 800 free. At the 1994 World Masters Championships in Montreal, he captured a gold medal in the 400 IM, and he has been a perennial champion in YMCA Masters competition.

Mel is currently serving his second term as USMS president, previously serving four years as corporate secretary. He has been Chairman of the Championship Committee, and has also served on the International, Coaches, and Rules Committees, and has been a delegate to USMS conventions for 15 years.

Currently he serves as treasurer of United States Aquatic Sports, the FINA-recognized Aquatics Governing Body in the United States. He has been the USMS representative to both USAS and MSI. Mel served as meet director for the 1992 World Championships, 1989 Pan Pacific Championships, 1983 Short Course Nationals, four YMCA Masters Nationals, all at the world famous Natatorium in Indianapolis. Long a guiding light for YMCA Masters competition, Mel served as USMS Liaison to the YMCA for many years—he was honored with the John de Barbadillo award—the YMCA's equivalent to the USMS Ransom Arthur Award. Mel assumed a leadership role in international competition, culminating in a postal forum as well as meeting coordinator in connection with the 1996 World Championships in Sheffleld, England.

Mel started his coaching career as a YMCA age group coach in 1968, settling in at the Jordan Y. As all good coaches do, Mel followed the regime of smoking, drinking, selling houses, insurance, lots, and land. Like being in the Navy, Mel painted everything that wasn't moving and saluted anything that was. Buckling down, he became a very successful sales representative for upscale sportswear taking early retirement in 1996 to devote full time to his first loves, coaching and Masters swimming.

In late 1984, Mel got serious about this coaching business, starting the Jordan Y Masters—with five swimmers—he now coaches in excess of 160. He is currently developing and expanding Indy SwimFit, an adult fitness program concentrating on developing swimming and competitive opportunities to all levels of competence. Mel has been heard to remark "I AM standing up!" but to all of us in the Masters swimming world, Mel Goldstein is 10 feet tall.

Mel has enhanced the swimming experience for all of us, and has reached out to encourage and embrace swimmers who are new to Masters. All this, and he finds time to keep up his own training. We expect Mel Goldstein's name to make many happy returns to the All-American rosters.

Mel E. Goldstein lives in Indianapolis, Ind. Mel swam for Doc's Club (1996) and now represents Indy Swim Fit (ISF).



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