WMU News

Edward A. Gabel

April 9, 2002

Edward A. Gabel, professor emeritus of physical education and first swimming coach at the University, died Feb. 16. He was 94.

Following 25 years of service to WMU, Gabel retired in 1972. Two years later, he and the school's first hockey coach, Harry W. Lawson, were honored when the two halves of a new athletic facility were named Lawson Ice Arena and Gabel Natatorium for the respective pioneer in each sport.

Gabel began the men's swimming team as a club sport in 1956. The following year, it was elevated to varsity status. Gabel coached the team until 1970, compiling a dual-meet record of 105-49-2 and leading WMU to Mid-American Conference championships in 1963 and 1964.

A native of Fremont, Ohio, Gabel earned a bachelor's degree from Eastern Michigan University and a master's degree from the University of Michigan. He was inducted into the WMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987.

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