One of the founding fathers of intercollegiate athletics at Washington and Lee, Edwin Parker (Cy) Twombly coached W&L teams to more than 400 victories and guided the University's athletic progress for more than half a century.
W&L benefited from Twombly's brilliance for over 50 years, but he certainly could have had a career of on-the-field success as well. He pitched pro and semi-pro baseball for 19 years and his record included several no-hitters. He signed with Chicago after graduating from Springfield College in 1921 and pitched for the White Sox of the American League that summer prior to starting with W&L in the fall. He once had 20 strikeouts in a seven-inning game, and he played with or against baseball Hall of Famers Walter Johnson, Tris Speaker, Babe Ruth, and Ty Cobb.
Upon arriving at W&L, Twombly immediately took control of the swimming and golf programs and began a tradition of tremendous success still in place today. In 39 seasons as swim coach, Twombly's teams posted a 122-49 record, including four Southern Conference championships and a stretch of five unbeaten seasons. He finished his stint as swim coach with 11 consecutive winning seasons, including a perfect 9-0 record in 1960, his last season as head coach.