Record-1949, 2nd 3 meter diving; 1950 & 51, league
and NCS Champion. NCS championships during that era
included tall of northern California, excluding San
Francisco and the valley.
& 51 Don Harper was accorded High School All American
Harper enrolled at Ohio State University in 1953,
when OSU had the most competitive diving corps in
the nation. Competition was keen to even make the
team in that competitive climate. To put the competition
in perspective, Ohio State University had 17 National
Champion divers during the 1950’s
was one of the first to incorporate the use of a video
camera, strapping a camera to his chest to review
his performance on the trampoline during his training
regimen, and then apply it to diving.
1955, at the Pan American Games in Mexico City, he
won the gold medal on the trampoline, unofficially
becoming the first World Champion, since this was
the first international competition in trampoline.
Earlier in the year he won 4 major diving contests
in Tokyo & Osaka, Japan.
1956, Don won Big 10, NCAA and AAU Championships in
3 meter springboard competition & qualified first
at the 1956 U.S. Olympic Trials. He was narrowly outscored
at the Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia, by his
Ohio State teammate Bob Clotworthy, and received a
continued diving for another 5 years, winning at least
one major championship during each of those years.
He won another USA vs. Japan duel meet in 1959 and
silver medaled in the 10 meter platform in Chicago
that same year. Don did not stop with athletics, and
earned Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degrees in the
field of physical education, health and physiology,
and remained at Ohio State University as a professor
U.S National Championships
National AAU Championships
Olympic Games Silver Medal
Trampoline National Championships
only athlete in the history of the NCAA to win two
national championships in two separate sports during
the same year.
of the Ohio State University Sports Hall of Fame
of the Big 10 Medal of Honor
of the International Swimming & Diving Hall of
is the first person to credit the faculty and coaches
at Sequoia that helped launch his incredible career.
“The support and leadership of my coaches and
teachers at Sequoia provided me with the background
in academics and athletics to make my life productive
and meaningful. To them, I will be forever indebted.”
Don Harper, class of 1951.