8 high school swim coaches have been named National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) Coach of the Year finalists for the sport. The NHSACA claims to be the oldest association in the United States formed by high school coaches for high school coaches and have been awarding National Coach of the Year honors since 1978.
Ironically, 2 of the 8 finalists in swimming are no longer coaching high school swimming: Chuck Olson retired years ago from Plymouth Salem High School, while Phil Rehard stepped down as the head coach before the girls’ season this spring after winning 6 consecutive state titles.
Among the headliners of the list are Helen Houlihan, who coaches 3 public school teams in Missoula, Montana, including the defending girls’ state champions; and Bridget Carmody, who coached the Mississippi girls’ state champions from Madison Central High School. Mark Morehouse of Fossill Ridge High School has built a dynasty, winning earlier this year their 2nd-straight NCAA title and 3rd in 4 seasons.
Dennis Kemmesat from Bismark’s Century High School in North Dakota is also nominated; his counterpart Kathy Aspaas, the girls’ team head coach, won this award last year.
This year’s finalists:
- John Barnes, St. Thomas Academy, Minnesota
- Bridget Carmody, Madison Central, Mississippi
- Chad Englehart, Barlesville High School, Oklahoma
- Helen Houlihan, Missoula High Schools, Montana
- Dennis Kemmesat, Bismarck – Century High School boys, North Dakota
- Mark Morehouse, Fossil Ridge High School, Colorado
- Chuck Olson, Plymouth Salem High School, Michigan
- Phil Rehard, Gillette High School, Wyoming