Longtime Calvert Hall swimming coach 'Reds' Hucht dies

Arthur Francis “Reds” Hucht, who coached Calvert Hall’s swim team from 1960 to 1997, died Tuesday at his home in Spotsylvania, Va.

He was 95.

Hucht, who at 80 was the oldest high school head coach in any sport in the Baltimore area when he retired, won 23 championships in the Maryland Scholastic Association.

A Baltimore native and 1935 Calvert Hall graduate, he moved to Virginia after his wife died in 2010.

"He touched a lot of lives," said Marc Fisher, who swam for Hucht in the late 1970s and early 1980s and later worked with him at various swim clubs. "He was old school, and he was strict. He never took no for an answer, and he would always say that 'can't' isn't a word. He motivated you."

A memorial will be held Jan. 21 at Calvert Hall starting at 1 p.m. Guests are asked to RSVP and can contact Fisher at 443-386-6415 or visit the Arthur Francis "Reds" Hucht facebook page to do so.

The following background on Hucht ran in a Baltimore Sun feature by Doug Brown on September 24, 1996, the day of his 80th birthday:

A breaststroker, Hucht swam for Poly and then, when the school dropped the sport, Calvert Hall. He captained the 1935 Calvert Hall team and won a couple of MSA titles.

In 1936, he began his coaching career as a swimming counselor at Camp Huntingfield in Kent County. Two of his girls won titles in The Evening Sun meet that year.

Before World War II, Hucht coached Mount St. Joseph, Loyola College and Knights of Columbus age-groupers -- all at once. That ended when he enlisted in the merchant marines and served seven years, keeping in shape by swimming from ship to shore.

"The first time I did that, in the Philippines, the natives in a bar were amazed and bought me drinks," Hucht said. "I said what was so amazing about swimming two miles to shore? Then they told me the waters were shark-infested."

Returning to Baltimore in 1948, Hucht resumed coaching, and was persuaded in 1960 to coach his alma mater, Calvert Hall. The school got more than a coach. It also got a pool operator, mechanic, cabinetmaker, carpenter and dry-wall man. His workshop is under the pool.

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