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Trinity athletics mourns the passing of two veteran coaches

Robert D. Slaughter, of Windsor, Connecticut, died on January 14, 2008, at the age of 87. At Trinity, he spent 18 years as the head coach of varsity swimming and coached two national champion swimmers. The College’s most-improved swimmer award is named after him. In 1957 and 1958, he served as president of the New England College Swimming Coaches’ Association and in 1971 he received a distinguished service citation as Master Coach from the College Swimming Coaches’ Association of America. Slaughter also served as an athletic trainer and was the only trainer for all Trinity sports for 16 years. He left Trinity in 1982 to become a trainer for the United States Tennis Association, where he stayed for 25 years. Slaughter also served as Trinity’s assistant baseball coach and as acting softball coach, and he helped start the College’s scuba-diving course.

Karl Kurth, of Charlestown, Rhode Island, died on February 2, 2008, at the age of 88. He joined the staff of Trinity College as assistant football coach and head track coach in 1952. In 1959, he traveled to Ethiopia as a goodwill ambassador and a track and field specialist at the invitation of the U.S. State Department. He became Trinity’s athletic director in 1966, a position he held for 16 years, and was the driving force behind the advent of women’s athletic teams at Trinity and the construction of Ferris Athletic Center. He served on the council of the National Youth Sports Program and brought the program, which involves inner-city youth in sports and education, to Trinity in 1969. Kurth was active in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, serving two terms on its executive council and as its president in 1979. He also helped form NESCAC, the New England Small College Athletic Conference. In 1982, he received the Distinguished American Award from the Northern Connecticut Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. He also received the James Lynah Award from the Eastern College Athletic Conference in 1983. Kurth retired from Trinity in 1982.