Mr. Wilson Takes Swimming in a New Direction

Michael Nangle, Contributing Writer

Mr. Zachary Wilson, an English teacher and previous boys’ swim coach at CB South, has been hired to be the head coach for the boys’ swim team at CB West for the 2014-2015 season.

Mr. Wilson, who has assistant coached South’s team during the previous season, has an extensive background in the sport. “I’ve been involved in the sport for the vast majority of my life,” said Mr. Wilson, who started swimming at a local swim club when he was eight. “When I was little, my parents threw me into swim lessons to make sure I was going to be safe around the pool. And, while I was taking swim lessons, one of the coaches at the swim club asked me to join the team.”

Ever since that day, Mr. Wilson has been avidly involved in swimming. In high school, he was nationally qualified, and in college at Bloomsburg University, he was captain of the swim team for two years.

After he finished swimming competitively in college, Mr. Wilson knew that didn’t want to end his involvement in the sport and became an assistant coach at South. “I knew I still wanted to be involved in the sport in some way, and there are a couple different ways [I] could do that.”

He continued saying that most people like to continue into Master Swimming, a competitive swimming organization for adults. However, Mr. Wilson said, “I thought the direction I wanted to go into was to help kids at the high school level enjoy the sport as much as my coaches in high school had done for me.”

After one year of assistant coaching at South, he was asked to be the head coach over at CB West. When the South team heard the news, he said they “rallied around and have been very supportive” of his new job.

Mr. Wilson added, “My previous team thought it was a great opportunity for me and is glad that I’m moving on to have my own team.” Mr. Wilson said that he “appreciate[d] how supportive and happy they were.”

When he left South’s team, Mr. Wilson said that he would miss the swimmers the most. “I created a good relationship with the swimmers on the team. It’ll be a lot different not to have them in the pool to motivate all the time and see how they are doing consistently.”

Now that the preseason practice for swimming has started, Mr. Wilson has begun to coach the CB West team. After coaching the CB West team for a few practices, the transition has been seamless for him. The first pre-season practice was held on October 7, and CB West’s first meet of the season is on December 9.

Mr. Wilson said that coaching the West team is “very similar [to coaching at South], which is kind of a unique part to swimming.” Mr. Wilson added that the swim teams already interacted often, since West practices at the South pool. The coaches and swimmers “feed” off of each other and use the practices as a way to build their skill.

As for the differences between the two teams, Mr. Wilson has yet to come across any major differences, but says he is curious to find out as the season progresses.

For the upcoming year of swimming, Mr. Wilson would “ultimately like a winning season, as any coach wants to have.”

He continued, “I know I have a pretty good core group of gentleman on the team now that have a lot of potential to make it into the post-season meets, like districts and potentially, states.”

Even though Mr. Wilson will now be coaching the boys’ team at West, he will still be involved with South’s swim team. “I’m actually still going to be running practices here in the mornings,” he said. On top of that, Mr. Wilson will also be running a strength program that he developed for the school last season. South wishes good luck to Mr. Wilson as he moves in a new direction—west—in his coaching career.