When I was younger I was an avid swimmer. My Coach and Friend Mike “Noodles” Nocheck died 6/22/2012 below is an article I found in my archives from the early 1990’s about Noodles and his “retirement” after 16 years at Gamble Nippert YMCA. Did he actually retire? No he went on to coach my high school swim team at Oak Hills for another 20 years. That is over 36 years of coaching!!! Noodles had an intensity about him that brought out the very best in his swimmers. Just when you thought you couldn’t swim another yard he would show you how. Noodles had a connection with his athletes that is difficult to describe, he never cuddled us yet was very good at bringing out the best and making us a little better with each swim. Before each meet we would huddle together and say a prayer, Noodles taught us how to be reverent. I think of all the impurities in sports today and rarely do you hear about a coach as dedicated as Noodles. Surely the world lost a legend on 6/22/2012. All of us that had the privilege to have Noodles as a coach can remember him best by tying to emulate his nature when dealing with kids.
Noodles I will always remember to keep my left elbow up and not drag it in the water……you should take it easy now and retire knowing that you are the best there is!