Dr. Cathy Ferguson achieved her athletic fame in a pool.
She began to exhibit swimming talent as early as 10 years old at the Burbank YMCA. She later joined the L.A. Athletic Club and trained with legendary swim coach Peter Daland. He was head coach of the club and coached two Olympic teams. Cathy became only the third woman inducted into the LACC John Wooden Hall of Fame.
At the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, a teenage Cathy earned an individual gold medal in the 100 meter backstroke and another gold for swimming the lead-off backstroke leg in the 400 meter medley relay, setting a world record. She then went back to being a high school student, a famous one, at Burbank High where she graduated in 1966.
Her exceptional swimming career included 5 world records, 10 American records and 13 national titles.
Even though she was still competing in swimming, there was no women's swimming team at Glendale College so Cathy played basketball. She was named woman athlete of the year as a sophomore at GCC.
After Glendale College, she went on to earn a bachelor's degree from Cal State Long Beach, a master's degree from Montana State University and a doctorate in educational administration from United States International University. For two years she coached the swim team at Long Beach and was a professor of physical education there from 1976-1993. She helped develop 12 national level swimmers and several that competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Her many awards and accolades include: being named the All-Around Senior Woman Swimmer in the U.S., being the first female recipient of the National YMCA Achievement Award, and getting voted onto the list of the "Top 200 Female Athletes of the Century." In addition to the L.A. Athletic Club, she has been inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame, Helm's Athletic Hall of Fame and Cal State Long Beach Hall of Fame.
Cathy is never far from sports. She now works as the Chief Marketing Officer of the American Youth Soccer Organization. She is also serving as vice president of United States Olympians.
And just like their mother, Cathy's three daughters couldn't stay out of a pool. All three have competed or coached in either swimming or diving.
Of all her educational experiences Cathy found Glendale College to be one of the best. She gives credit to the instructors who were as she said "of the highest caliber."
Cathy now lives in Huntington Beach with her husband Greg Panten.