Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

Kris Kirchner, part of Texas’ first swimming and diving champion team, will be inducted into Texas Athletics Hall of Honor

courtesy of Texas Athletics

During his time at Texas, former men’s swimming and diving star Kris Kirchner was part of many firsts. 

After transferring to Texas from Cleveland State in 1980, Krichner was crowned national champion with his relay teammates as the anchor and set what was then an American record. 

In 1981, Kirchner was named team captain and won another solo national championship in the 50-yard freestyle, the first in Longhorn history. That same year, he was the anchor for another national championship 400-meter medley relay team that again broke the American record. Later on in that very same meet, he was crowned a national champion once again as part of the 400-yard free relay. 

To finish off the 1981 season, Kirchner brought the NCAA Swimming and Diving National Championship to the Forty Acres for the first time. 

After his time wearing the burnt orange, Kirchner went on to have success on the international level. A gold medal in the 4×200-meter free relay at the 1979 Pan American games put Kirchner on top of the swimming world. 

A year later, Kirchner was awarded a spot on the United States Olympic Team, but unfortunately wasn’t able to compete due to the Moscow Olympics boycott. 

Yet, Olympic adversity didn’t stop Kirchner. In 1981, he added a third United States championship to his long list of accolades after anchoring the 400-meter medley relay. 

After returning to Texas as an assistant coach under Eddie Reese, Kirchner took over the swimming and diving program at the University of South Carolina. He led the Gamecocks to five Metro Conference men’s titles and one women’s championship. 

Kirchner made the move to Indiana University to be the head coach of their men’s swimming and diving program. The very next year, he was named Big 10 Men’s Swimming Co-Coach of the Year. 

Kirchner is a member of the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame as a 1992 inductee. He will join 10 other former Texas athletes with his induction in the Texas Athletics Hall of Honor on Friday.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Emmanuel Ramirez, Senior Audio Producer
Emmanuel Ramirez is a journalism junior from Brownsville, Texas. Currently he works as the senior audio producer for Texan Overtime and previously was a general audio staffer. He enjoys throwing down on the grill and playing Smash Bros.