Looking back to the spring of 1991 is not always an easy thing to do. But that is when a young Athletic Director took a chance and hired me to a Head Coach of a Varsity swim team that was in just its second year of existence. At no time did I ever think we would get to season number 25.
The thoughts running through my head after being hired were that of “this cannot be too hard” and “coaching girls should be a piece of cake”. After the first meet, which was a 61-108 beat down from Catholic Memorial at Carroll College, reality set it.
Coaching has brought so many great people into my life and my families lives that it is almost unthinkable of what we could be doing if I did not have my “fun” job. The memories, both in and out of the pool, are nothing we would trade away. With 26 different coaches on staff and 406 athletes with 32 sets of siblings, the memories are a full spectrum. But lets try to remember a couple of fun ones……
Bridget and Annie coming to see me in the hospital after knee surgery, Michelle writing breathe on the palm of her hand, having reversible suits and switching them from Black to Red after warmups were over, Amy’s Dad coming to the Parent Meeting with a slip of paper with her times on it and asking me if she would be on Varsity, Christy winning the 100 Breast from lane 1 to win every event at the Private School Championships, all the years staying at the Wendrick’s compound for State, Heather getting Mono, the 3 Monkeys as freshman, Myers’ transferring in, one word IceBerg, AVS making it to the podium for diving, girls missing practice for – wait for it – Hunters Safety, Coach Kris’ laugh, Emily going to Harvard, awesome ornaments from Ms. Paintbrush, Smet anchoring a relay at State that set a school record, Tisa eating before all of her big races, being a Confirmation sponsor for Mel and for Alison, have one season with 2 Lauras and a Lauren along with 2 Megans a Meghan and 2 Stephanies, then telling Peggy I was leaving. That was the first 16 years.
Then it has been Pineapple Relay, Mean Girls, Molly Pop, Franchise, striped pants, a season with three Jessicas a Jamie, Jillian and a Jordon, Friendship Box, not understanding how big Band is in Waukesha, Alumni Meets, Brianna’s awesome Gatorade bottle throwing skills, the new scoreboard, Swim-a-Pooloza, new work out boards, college signings, 4 Athletic directors, now all the way to coaching my own kid.
Laughed a bunch as I was typing these. They are in the front of my mind like they happened yesterday. Yet in the same breath there are so many people that we should thank for being part of an awesome ride up to this point.
Thanks to Michelle and Team Bedalov for making it all possible. A great, solid family behind the coach makes a big difference. A coach’s wife is never an easy job. In the early years, the kids came to everything. They associated things by what the pools looked like.
Thanks to Peggy for taking a chance and hiring me back in 1991 and to Dan for doing the same in 2007.
Thanks to the three employers that believed in helping the community as much as they did. Pat, Joe and Paul at River Run Computers. Howard and Diane at Cooper Power Systems. And Steve and Pat at BPI Color.
Thanks to all of the awesome families that have been supportive, have invited us into their lives away from the pool, invited us to their kids weddings, and have hosted so many team dinners.
Starting year 25…not done yet. There is still a ton of things to accomplish and memories to create.