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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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Duffy’s last dive

Varsity swim coach retires after 28 years

Leaving with 28 years of coaching, lasting relationships, and teaching and coaching skills, Laura Duffy, Diving Head Coach, is putting away her whistle and saying goodbye to South’s swim program at the end of this school year. 

Duffy was inspired to start coaching by her own high school swim coach and motivated to stay due to the  energetic athletic and academic environment. Now, she is ready to leave the cherished students and take with her the lessons she’s acquired over the years, Duffy said. 

“I was inspired to start coaching by my high school coach [who] had a big impact on me.” Duffy said. “I wanted to do that for other students and divers. [I stayed] here for 28 years [because] South is a great place to be with athletes and students.”

While at South, Duffy found that the relationships formed between her athletes and health students were the most valuable takeaway she will bring into her retirement. Their bonds have grown immensely in the four years she has coached, Duffy said. Since her first year coaching, she has been able to connect with students on a personal level.

“I am most proud of the relationships that I have with my divers and the fact that we still stay in really close contact even [when] they graduate and get married and have kids,” Duffy said. 

As a coach, Duffy initiated  strategies to energize the team and make them feel excited to be at practices,  meets, or tournaments, sophomore Charlie Richards explained. 

“Duffy is really good at creating a strong team culture, which can help excite [the team] during a tough competition,” Richards said. 

Duffy’s athletes have taught her equally as much while coaching at South, Duffy said. In a sport where a mere second determines the final team score, trust is crucial between coach and athlete, Duffy expressed. 

“Respect is really important both [between a coach and athlete], and trust is built on respect,” Duffy said. “When you coach diving, it’s all about trust [because] I am trusting that [my athletes are] going to do what I tell [them] to do, and [they are] trusting that I am right.” 

Even amidst the Athletic Department’s deep dive for a new coach, Duffy’s divers will remember her positive energy on and off the pool deck, Richards said.  

“We will miss her positivity and her knowledge for the sport of diving,” Richards said. 

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