Fred R. Lanoue

Fred R. Lanoue

Frederick “Fred” R. Lanoue was the Head Swimming Coach at Georgia Tech for 27 years. Prior to coaching, Lanoue attended Springfield College in Massachusetts where he was a diver. He completed his bachelor’s degree in 1932 and his master’s degree in 1934. While at Springfield, he was the New England Diving Champion and the mechanics of diving became the topic of his master’s thesis.

Lanoue became the Head Coach at Georgia Tech in 1938. While serving as Head Coach at Tech, he coached the Yellow Jackets to SEC Men’s Championships in 1942, 1948, 1949, and 1950. Since there were no SEC Swimming Championships between 1943 and 1947 because of WWII, this could be considered a 4-peat. Lanoue’s 1942 and 1947 teams were captained by Georgia Aquatics Hall of Fame member and Lanoue’s successor at Georgia Tech, Herb McAuley.

In addition to coaching, Lanoue is best known for inventing and naming the aquatic survival technique called “drownproofing”. Drownproofing classes became a requirement for all Georgia Tech freshmen students beginning in 1940. The course was required for graduation until the late 1980’s. Lanoue was said to have taught drownproofing to over 20,000 students. The technique was also adopted by the Peace Corps and the US Navy Seals, who are still using it today.

Lanoue has also been inducted into the Georgia Tech Athletic Hall of Fame, the Springfield College Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Helms Foundation Hall of Fame.

Fred Lanoue passed away in 1965.

Career Highlights

  • Led Yellow Jackets to four SEC Men’s Championships
  • Developed of Drownproofing

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