Coach David Accepts Dream Job

Dear Sunkist family,

I have some big news to share which my family and I are very excited about, and my heart is swirling in a wistful hurly-burly of elation and anxiety as the past 8 years with Sunkist have been the most rewarding and fulfilling years of my life.  I have been offered and have accepted the Executive Director/Head Coach position for Cascade Swim Club out in Seattle.  This is a professional opportunity which I am beyond humbled to have been selected for after their national search.  Cascade is the largest and oldest team in Washington with over 700 swimmers operating 7 sites in a thriving metropolis.  Cascade has the soul of Sunkist, an authentic culture rooted in the community and a mission of supporting swimmers at all levels.  Cascade is also a sleeping giant with the heart of a champion.  Certainly, there are big challenges ahead and much work to be done, but this is one of those rare “dream job” opportunities and I am thrilled to have been chosen to lead them into the future.  Many of you know how much of a Seattle Seahawks fan I am and have been all my life—for me, this is a dream job in a dream location.

I want everyone to know how much I have thoroughly enjoyed the privilege of coaching the swimmers of Sunkist Swim Team since my start date back in February of 2010.  We have been on an incredible journey together and I am blessed to have developed so many dear friendships that will last a lifetime.  I love each and every one of our swimmers, I am going to miss you all and will always cherish our time together.  Know that I will be watching your continued successes in and out of the water from afar and with great pride.  Never forget—you can accomplish anything you want to accomplish in the pool and in life—keep reaching for the stars! 

Thank you to all our parents for your support over the years, I appreciate your sincere effort to do what is best for the TEAM and your service has been incredible.  I am especially going to miss my squad mates Sherra Shearer and Ashley Herrington—I love you both, you have made this job such a joy and pleasure.  Many thanks to our current and past board members and former team presidents who shared the trenches with this silly coach with crazy hair.  Your leadership and faith in my boundless positivity has buoyed my every joyous bounce across the pool deck, and I am so grateful.

To my coaches, with me now and before, thank you so much for helping me to be a better leader and a better person.  To Coach Erica, the little sister I never had, I love you and your family—we wouldn’t be where we are today without you.  Life with Coach David can hit you fast, as you say, thank you for keeping up with resilience and being such a great teacher of our program.  To Coach Courtney and all our Sunfish coaches, keep doing what you do best—giving a piece of your heart to our swimmers so that they might improve and have some fun in the process.  To Caroline Thomas, our dear team captain and wonderful coach-mentor to our younger swimmers, you make coaching a dream job, thank you so much for all you do and may your encouraging spirit never waiver.  To Coach Monica, you are off to a fabulous start, stay positive and bright, I will still be there for you and the city of Natchez.

To my college swimmers, who I really wish I could see one more time before hitting the road, keep up the good work, keep rising and shining and making us proud.  This isn’t goodbye—never is in swimming.  I will be enjoying your college swims and I am always here for you.  Thank you for pulling out the best in me and giving me so many incredible highlights to share with my future stars.  I couldn’t be prouder of all of you.  Especially of Marlan McElroy who has been with me from day one and grown to embody all that is right in our sport with a passion and enthusiasm that is infectious and authentically Marlan.  Keep texting me, MarMar, I don’t want to miss the latest great alternative release or your unique perspective on the pulse of swimming.

While I am sad to be parting, the smiles and laughter and the many rowdy WHOOSHES we have shared together over the years will stay with me forever.  Much love to all of you, I will miss this amazing TEAM dearly.  Thank you so much for everything.

I also want to reassure you that the Sunkist board of directors and I have taken smart measures to ensure that there is a smooth transition to our next head coach.  We are in such great shape as an organization and our board leadership is very strong.  A coach search is already underway and a top candidate has been identified—and offered the job.  We are hopeful a deal will be finalized within the next few days, and we will be very excited to announce our new head coach.  Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, we have hired Coach Corey Coon-Cassily to fill-in for me while we transition to our new head coach.  Many of you know Coach Corey from coaching Hub Fins, he is very well-liked by our Seniors and has many years of coaching experience.  He will start on Thursday.  Be sure to give Coach Corey a big welcome and thank him for helping us during this transition.

The board is planning a little send-off party at the pool tomorrow during practice, details will follow.  If you can stop by for high fives and hugs and maybe a few tears it will mean the world to me.  Parting may be such sweet sorrow, but our time together will lift us into the future, and with our wings spread wide.  From my heart to yours, onward and upward!

Go Sunkist!!

Coach David