Sports

Oak Harbor girls team welcomes new swim coach

Erin Bull - Jim Waller / Whidbey News-Times
Erin Bull
— image credit: Jim Waller / Whidbey News-Times

Since moving to the area in 2007, Erin Bull has had an eye on the head coaching position for the Oak Harbor High School girls swim team.

Bull, a math teacher and leadership adviser at Oak Harbor  Middle School,  fulfilled that goal when she began her first season as the Wildcat coach when tryouts started Monday.

“Coaching high school swimming has always been a dream of mine,” Bull said.

Growing up in a “swimming family” in Puyallup, Bull began swimming at age 4 and competing at 6. In addition to swimming for Puyallup High School, she swam for the Puyallup Aquatic Club, Maranha Swim Team and, eventually, Central Washington University. She also played water polo at Puyallup High school.

She met her husband Grant Bull, a former Oak Harbor High School athletic star, at Central, and the couple moved to Oak Harbor after they were married.

This is Bull’s first high school coaching assignment. She taught swimming lessons throughout high school and helped with the North Whidbey Aquatic Club in 2012. She also coaches middle school track.

Bull takes over for Alex Thierry, who resigned after one year to continue his education. She is the fourth head girls swim coach in five years and said “consistency is important” for any program. Bull believes she can provide that component: “My husband and I are very settled in Oak Harbor.”

She would like to emphasize attitude, accountability, drive and resilience in her program.

“Athletes need training to become successful swimmers and people,” she said.

As far as what she wants her athletes to take from her program, she said, “First and foremost, I want my athletes to leave enjoying the sport.

“Second, I want them to leave feeling accomplished in their high school goals.

“Lastly, I want them to leave with lifelong friendships and memories that last forever.”

Bull said the season will be successful if “personal and team goals are met” and if “athletes return -- with friends -- the following season to create more growth in the sport.”

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