Peninsula boys swim coach Tim Messersmith is in his first year of coaching the girls and boys programs at Peninsula High School this year. But he’s not exactly “new.”
Not to Peninsula, where he’s been a teacher for 13 years now. And not to coaching, either. Messersmith coached swimming at the high school level in California, starting in 1991. He moved with his family to Port Angeles, where he continued to coach high school swimming until 1999.
And he’s even been on board with the Peninsula swim team for a while now. He’s been an assistant coach to longtime coach Craig Brown for four years.
When Brown stepped down from his head coaching role in the fall, Messersmith took the reins.
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“It’s been an easy transition,” Messersmith said. “I was getting familiarized with how to do lineups again and things like that.”
Messersmith compared it to riding a bicycle. He may have been a little rusty, but he never forgot how to do it.
“As far as making practices, teaching technique, running the meets — there wasn’t a learning curve,” he said.
And Brown didn’t sail off into the sunset, either. He essentially flipped positions with Messersmith. Messersmith is now the head coach, and Brown has moved into an assistant role.
“It’s great,” Messersmith said. “I do all the administrative stuff now. But he and I are doing a lot of the same stuff that we did last year. When I’m having to do finish the lineup, or work on something else, I know I have two very competent (assistant) coaches to do the practice. That’s a nice luxury to have.”
Messersmith’s team is seeing success in the pool, too. Peninsula has posted a 4-1 overall record and a 3-1 record in the Class 3A South Sound Conference, led by junior Ethan Brown, senior Chase Michalke and junior Landen Bullock.
Peninsula has had a long holiday break, with its last meet coming in a 103-83 win over Shelton on Dec. 14. Peninsula resumes its schedule on Tuesday (Jan. 9) with a home meet against Wilson High School, before wrapping up the regular season with away meets at Capital and Gig Harbor High School on Jan. 11 and 18, respectively.