Elmer Luke ’51 Inducted 1984

Swimming & Diving

Elmer   Luke

Elmer Luke turned an outstanding prep and college swimming career into a life-long profession. A high school all-America in swimming at Hibbing High School, he arrived at Gustavus after two years at Itasca Junior College. He quickly established himself as a leading member of Vic Gustafson's strong swim teams of the '40s and 50s. In spite of injuries which kept him out of half of the team's meets in 1950, he recorded nine dual meet wins and went on to set a new record in winning the 1500 meter freestyle at the MIAC Championships. He advanced to the Central Collegiate Championships at Michigan State (similar to what is now Division III of the NCAA) and placed in his event. In 1951, Luke won 33 events in dual meets and established new records in both the 220 and 440 yard freestyle events at the conference meet. Following graduation, he taught and coached at Grand Rapids for four years before going to the Hopkins School District, where he taught physical education and coached both boys' and girls' swimming. For more than 14 years, he was head coach at Hopkins Lindbergh. In 1983, he was honored when his girls' team won its 100th consecutive dual meet. During that streak. his teams won 13 conference championships, five regional titles, and two state crowns and produced 14 all-America swimmers. He was named Coach of the Year in 1979 and again in 1980. Luke retired after 34 years of teaching.