Dick Garbisch not only set school records and won conference championships as a swimmer on the powerhouse Carleton men’s swimming teams of 1936, 1937 and 1938, but also served as a two-year captain and as the official coach his senior season. The 1938 Algol had high praise for Garbisch and the “mermen” of Carleton: “The 1938 swimming team under the guidance of coach and captain Dick Garbisch was, without a doubt, the best Carleton team ever to splash in Sayles Hill Pool.” The “Maizemen” (Knights) won their third straight Midwest Conference title that season, and only lost to teams from the Big 10 (Minnesota and Wisconsin) and Big Six conference champion Iowa State. Garbisch was a main reason for Carleton’s success; he broke conference records in the 220 and 440-yard freestyle events, and swam on medley and relay teams that likewise shattered marks. Garbisch also captured three first place medals at the conference meet, and won two races against the University of Wisconsin. He also competed at the national championships, where he distinguished himself: “Can’t remember where I placed there so it probably was down around seventh or eighth.” During the 1936-37 season, Garbisch was responsible for 138.5 of Carleton’s 557.5 total points, and set conference marks in the 200 and 100-yard freestyle events.
After graduation, Garbisch married Marjorie Crabb ’39, who happened to be the editor of the Algol during Dick’s senior season. As Dick put it in a recent letter: “The big double-page spread in the ’38 Algol was one of the benefits of going with the editor!” Garbisch spent his professional career as the owner of Maple Dale Hatchery, a vast chicken hatchery that his father established in the 1920s. Dick and Marjorie, who passed away Sept. 21, 1998, have remained in close contact with Carleton, with Marjorie serving on the Board of Trustees. All four of their children and four grandchildren are Carleton alumni.