Ex-coach inducted into hall of fame

By Peggy Keslin

Huskie fight song lyricist and former NIU men’s swimming coach Francis Stroup recently was inducted into the North Texas State University Hall of Fame.

At NTSU’s Homecoming football game Saturday, Stroup was one of five members inducted into the hall, which honors great athletes from around the nation.

NTSU Track Coach Ken Garland said, “Stroup excelled in both athletics and education. It is only fair that he be recognized as a great athlete.”

Stroup’s other accomplishments include writing school songs for NIU, NTSU and other major universities.

Stroup attended NTSU and earned a bachelor of arts degree in industrial education in 1929.

During his time there, Stroup earned varsity basketball letters and won the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation state championship in the men’s junior division for 10-foot springboard diving.

While doing graduate work, Stroup maintained his interest in athletics by serving as coach of the NTSU swimming club and teaching lifesaving awareness classes.

e joined the NIU physical education faculty staff in 1959 and was appointed Huskie swimming coach when the swim program began in 1960.

Under Stroup’s instruction the swim team took fourth in the school’s first swim season in the Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC).

NIU continued to improve and in its fourth season captured the IIAC championship with a 7-2 record. That 1963-64 team also had four qualifiers to the NCAA College Division National Championships.

The Huskie tank team successfully defended its IIAC championship in 1964-65. This time they produced nine NCAA qualifiers, including a 400-yard freestyle relay unit which placed third in the nation.

During his eight-year tenure as coach, Stroup held a 34-32 dual-meet career standard.

e retired from the NIU physical education staff after the 1973-74 academic year.