Ralph Darr was a celebrated American pool and open water swimming coach. As a national-level coach for over 25 years working with the Californian teams of Phillips 66, Huntington Beach Aquatics and Irvine Novas and with coach Don Gambril, Darr played a significant part in developing Olympic medalists Gary Hall, Sr., Shirley Babashoff, Steve Furniss, Valerie Lee, Mike O'Brien, Dan Jorgenson and John Mykkannen. Their efforts led to swimmers earning 16 world records, 8 Olympic medals, 9 World Championship medals, 3 Pan American Games medals and 31 U.S. Swimming national titles.
He placed swimmers on the Olympic Teams of 1968, 1972, 1976 and 1984. He served as U.S. coach of the 1975 World Championships Women's Team, the 1991 FINA World Championships Open Water Team, the 1974 USA vs. DDR Duel Meet and meets with Japan and Argentina, and across the English Channel.
Coach Darr was known as one of the first coaches to bring the use of hand paddles into competitive swimming.
- 1975 FINA World Championships USA Women's Head Coach
- 1991 FINA World Championships Open Water Head Coach
- 1987 Pan American Games Head Team Manager
- Coach of swimmers setting 11 world records, participating in 1968, 1972, 1976 and 1984 Olympic Games, 1973 and 1991 FINA World Championships, 1987 and 1991 Pan Pacific Championships, 1973 and 1985 World University Games
- Coach of 11 USA Swimming National Teams including 1974 USA/DDR Duel Meet and Meets with Japan, Argentina
- Coach of swimmers winning 27 U.S. National Championships and 1 national championship team title
English Channel Relay
Flip Darr was one of the crew members of the English Channel relay of Jay Wilkerson, Chad Hundeby, Martha Jahn, Karen Burton, Dirk Bouma, and Sid Cassidy. The USA Swimming national open water team members set three English Channel relay records: 6 hours 52 minutes on their first leg (England-to-France), 7 hours 26 minutes on their second leg (France-to-England), and the fastest overall and fastest 2-way relay (England-to-France-to-England) in 14 hours 18 minutes in 1990. The team was coached by Penny Dean and John York.