Girls’ Swim Coach Quits Mid-Season, New Coach Recently Hired

Practice difficulty increases, team stays strong


Oscar Walsh

Carrison coaches from the sideline during an intriguing meet on October 12th against the Hopkins Girls’ Swim Team.

Max Yousha, Staff Writer

After almost 5 seasons as the Blake Girls’ Swim and Dive coach and the C Squad Boys’ Tennis coach, Luke Johnson has moved on from the team. 

Johnson left the team in September, midway through this fall girls’ swim season due to a job offer as the head coach for the Reno Aquatics Club in Nevada. The girls were sad that he had to leave, but it opened up the opportunity for Damon Carrison to come and coach the team. 

Carrison started coaching the girls after Johnson’s departure. He comes from a strong background in coaching girls’ and boys’ swim teams, as he coaches the Wayzata boys’ swim team in the winter and used to coach Benilde girls’ for 20 years.

With a new coach comes a new coaching style. Coach Carrison’s coaching style differs greatly from Johnson’s. Captain Molly Seidel ‘24 notices that, “the practice schedule is different… there is also more yardage [to swim] at practices.” 

Co-captain Ivy Besikof ‘23 agrees with Seidel, saying that, “the biggest difference is the difficulty of practices, he definitely kicked it up a notch. He made it a little more difficult with higher yardage.” 

The ramp-up in the difficulty of Carrison’s practice style compared to Johnson’s isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Besikof observes that “it isn’t a bad difficulty increase in my opinion.”

According to the captains, aside from the harder practices, Carrison hasn’t changed the chemistry between the girls. Seidel expresses that, “the team has stayed pretty consistent. We’re a close group of girls so we’ve kind of just kept our momentum.” 

Besikof supports that statement by saying “I don’t think there’s such a big difference in our environment, we’ve always had a strong bond.” Clearly, this group of girls has maintained good relationships with one another, regardless of coaching changes, ready to swim.