William J. Diehl


Captain William J. Diehl
Class of 1978

William Diehl was one of nine Diehl children to graduate from Olean High. The day after his graduation, he entered the Coast Guard Academy and graduated four years later with a degree in Civil Engineering. Diehl later earned a Master’s Degree in Naval Architecture, Marine Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and was accepted into the Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society.

Captain Diehl served in a variety of challenging jobs in the Coast Guard, including his position as the Senior United States Diplomat at the Panama Canal. He also commanded the largest operational unit in the Coast Guard: Sector Houston-Galveston, where he led 2,600 personnel in the highly successful response to Hurricane Ike in 2008. The response saved 235 lives while cleaning up 240 oil spills, and was the largest waterway restoration effort in the history of the United States Coast Guard.


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