Matt Vogel

Year Honored:
university of tennessee


Some athletes make it to the top of their sport over a span of many years. Others, like Matt Vogel, come out of nowhere to explode on the international scene. Vogel’s fast-forward rise to the pinnacle of the swimming world is quite a tale. He did not even swim for his high school, but rather for the Huntington YMCA in his home state of Indiana. Even though he was the National YMCA Champion in the 100-meter butterfly, Vogel was not recruited very heavily. He entered the University of Tennessee in the Fall of 1975, and like time-lapse photography, his first storybook year at UT rapidly brought him accolades and medals undreamed of. As a freshman, Vogel was the NCAA Champion in the 100-meter butterfly and second in the 200-meter butterfly. But it only gets better. At the Olympic trials in June, he became the only Tennessee swimmer to make the team. A relative unknown, Vogel traveled to Montreal, where he won the 100-meter butterfly, defeating his own teammates, Gary Hall and Joe Bottom, to give the Americans a sweep in the event. His gold-medal performance automatically gave Vogel a berth in the 100-meter x 4 freestyle relay, which the U.S. team won in world-record time, giving Vogel his second gold medal. Matt Vogel was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1996. A fitting tribute to one of the greatest swimmers in Tennessee history.

Credit 1:
university of tennessee athletics department

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