As a record-setter in swimming and as one of the men who helped build Washington and Lee's foundation for national success in lacrosse, William E. (Bill) Brumback, '71, stands as one of W&L's truly great two-sport athletes.
Brumback, a native of Baltimore, was a four-year letterman in both swimming and lacrosse. He served as a key element in the continuing success of W&L swimming, leading W&L to a 23-10 record in the pool in his four years. Brumback first earned All-America honors as a sophomore in the 50-yard freestyle. He duplicated the feat in both his junior and senior years, also earning All-America honors in the 100 freestyle in his final season. Brumback was a state and regional success, too, winning five gold medals as a freshman at the 1968 College Athletic Conference championships. Such post-season performances became the norm as Brumback led W&L to CAC titles in 1968, 1970, and 1971. In his senior season, Brumback was undefeated in dual-meet competition, the 50 freestyle, won both the 50 and 100 freestyle events at the CAC Championships, and captured the CAC's Outstanding Swimmer Award.
In lacrosse, Brumback helped bring W&L lacrosse into the national spotlight. A gritty defenseman, Brumback's efforts pushed W&L from a losing record in his freshman year to a national ranking by his senior season. Brumback, who was named a First Team All-South Atlantic selection in 1970 and 1971, was W&L's first two-time First Team All-American in lacrosse, earning the honors in 1970 and 1971.
Brumback was named the Generals' outstanding swimmer each of his four years at W&L, and he also received the Twombly-Eastman teamwork and effort award his senior year. He was named W&L's outstanding freshman athlete in 1968, and he capped off his career by being named W&L's Most Valuable Athlete as a senior.