Danny Seemiller at the 2016 World Veteran Championships (Photo: Alvaro Diaz)
by Ian Marshall, Editor
Las Vegas will be the home for the 2018 World Veteran Championships; one of the major reasons is through the efforts of Danny Seemiller.
Five times United States men’s singles champion, his autobiography entitled “Revelations of a Table Tennis Champion”, a book which comprises 218 pages and 96 photographs, is now available.
The text on the back cover reads:
If you are in the Olympic sport of table tennis, then you know Danny Seemiller, USA’s greatest modern champion. In “Revelations of a Table Tennis Champion,” the five-time U.S. Men’s Singles Champion takes you through his 50 years in the sport, from the early days of training, the breakthroughs, the agonizing defeats and the great triumphs. You’ll learn why the three-sport star – baseball, basketball, and football – changed his focus to table tennis. You’ll experience his trips around the world, from being marched at gunpoint to achieving his boyhood dream of defeating the Chinese.
Who is Dan Seemiller?
by Larry Hodges
But playing is only half his story. Danny, a long-time coach first in Pittsburgh and then in South Bend, Indiana, was the U.S. Olympic and World Team Coach for ten years, and was named the USOC Coach of the Year for Table Tennis three times. He served five years as president of USA Table Tennis, ran dozens of major tournaments through the years, and was instrumental in bringing the 2018 World Veterans Games to the United States. He is a member of the USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame, and in 2012 became the youngest recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
I first met Dan Seemiller at one of his Pittsburgh camps in 1977, my second year of play. Let’s just say that I was in awe as he and his brothers (Ricky and Randy, plus Perry Schwartzberg) demonstrated and explained the various techniques. I went to another of his camps in 1978.
The day before he broke his leg, and he showed up with the leg in a full cast so he could still move about to coach – and in a challenge match, hobbling about mostly on one leg, he still managed to win a challenge match against the U.S. no.1 junior player, Rutledge Barry! Those Seemiller camps formed the basis both for my own game, and for my future professional coaching career.
Little did I know that, one day, I’d be assisting Dan at his Pittsburgh camps in the early 1990s, and learning how to run my own camps. I’d also be his coaching chair during his USATT presidency. (And now I’m editing and doing the photo work and page layouts for his autobiography – wow!)
Dan is considered by most the greatest U.S. player in modern history, going back to the 1950s. He’s done it all at the highest levels – player, coach, tournament director, club president, and president of USA Table Tennis. He even has a grip named after him – the “Seemiller grip.”
There’s a reason he was the youngest person ever awarded the USATT Lifetime Achievement Award, in 2012 at the age of 58. Even now, as I write this, he’s still actively playing – easily the best over 60 player in the U.S. – while coaching at South Bend and helping USA Table Tennis run training camps for their top juniors. Plus, he was instrumental to bringing the World Veteran Games to the U.S. in 2018, something he’s very excited about – setting it up, running it, and playing in it. Slow down, Dan, slow down! (Want to read more about Dan? See Tim Boggan’s Hall of Fame write-up for Dan Seemiller.)
Danny Seemiller’s record
- five times United States men’s singles champion: 1976, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983m
- twelve times United States men’s doubles champion: 1976-1983, 1990-1991, 1994, 2009
- seven times United States mixed doubles champion: 1976-1978, 1981-1983, 1988
- United States men’s national team coach, 1999-2009
- United States men’s Olympic coach, 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens
- three times United States coach of the year for Table Tennis
- South Bend Table Tennis Club head coach 1996-2016
- President of USA Table Tennis, 1990-1995
- Hall of Fame Inductee, 1995
- Lifetime Achievement Award, 2012