News & Updates

Legendary Local Diver and Former Presque Isle LIfeguard Hobie Billingsley Returns to Erie

Posted on June 14th, 2018 at 10:19 AM
Legendary Local Diver and Former Presque Isle LIfeguard Hobie Billingsley Returns to Erie

On Sunday, June 17, Hobie Billingsley, a championship diver, accomplished diving coach, and WWII veteran, will return to his beloved childhood hometown of Erie to give a presentation and sign copies of his book Challenge: How to Succeed Beyond your Dreams. The free program, which begins at 11 AM, will take place at the Stull Interpretative Center at Presque Isle State Park, and will be open to the public.

A former YMCA athlete and lifeguard at Presque Isle State Park, Billingsley won the PA State Diving Championship and the AAU Senior National Diving Championship in his senior year at Strong Vincent High School in 1944. In 1945, he began college at Ohio State University, and won the Big 10 NCAA Springboard Championship. Later that year, he was drafted to serve in the Army Air Corps, where he was stationed in the Pacific Theater.

After the war, Billingsley continued to make waves in the diving community, leading a high school swim team to a state championship title. This success led to his position as head diving coach for Indiana University—a job that only one other university offered at the time. There, from 1959--1989, Billingsley coached countless collegiate athletes to victory, earning a total of 115 national titles, and serving as a five-time Olympic coach and three-time Olympic judge.

Today, at 92 years old, he still serves the public through motivational speaking and promotion of his three books, including Challenge: How to Succeed Beyond your Dreams. Local sponsorship for this event comes from the Presque Isle Lifeguard Association (PILA), and the Erie County Aquatic Hall of Fame.

In addition to presenting at Presque Isle, Billingsley will also present at Gannon University on Saturday, June 16 at 3:30 PM. The event will be held on the second floor of the Recreation and Wellness Center, located on West 4th Street (between Peach St and Sassafras St).

For more information about this program, contact Jon Myrick of the Presque Isle Lifeguard Association, PILA, and President of the Erie County Aquatic Hall of Fame at (814) 460-0699.

Media Contact: Jon Myrick, (814) 460-0699