New Oak Harbor High School swim and dive coach Alex Thierry brings something to the program that was missing from past head coaches’ resumes -- diving experience.
The Wildcats have had to rely on volunteers to teach diving in recent years, and sometimes, such as this past girls season, Oak Harbor has not fielded a diving team because of the lack of a qualified coach.
Thierry was a high-school and club-team diver and has coached swimming and diving in St. Louis since graduating from college in 2010.
Thierry also played water polo in high school and at the club level in St. Louis before graduating in 2006.
He was an assistant swim and head dive coach at a country club and two high schools in the Parkway District last year.
“That opportunity allowed me to work with some really great athletes, two of them qualifying for the U.S. Olympic trials in swimming,” he said. “It was really great to watch, and I learned so much from the head coach I was working with.”
Last summer he coached the St. Louis Diving Club, “working with really motivated and talented divers with a few of them competing at the national level.”
Thierry’s goals are for his athletes to work hard and push each other “to be the best they can.” If that happens, “we can do some really good things in and out of the pool.”
He added, “I want these athletes to feel like a family. I want them to take away the bonds and friendships that being on a swim team can make. I also want them to be proud, not only of what individuals accomplish, but what the team accomplishes together. If an athlete works hard in practice, there is no reason he cannot drop time in his events.”