SW: Hesse stepping down after 2010-11 season
July 16, 2010Crawfordsville High School
Reprinted courtesy of:
The Paper of Montgomery County
CRAWFORDSVILLE SWIMMING DOMINANCE
**Here's a look at Crawfordsville boys and girls swimming coach Mark Hesse's team accomplishments over the past five years**
- Five straight IHSAA Crawfordsville Sectional titles (2006-2010)
- Five straight Sagamore Athletic Conference championships (2006-2010)
- Five straight Montgomery County meet titles (2006-2010)
- Four Sagamore Athletic Conference championships (2006-07, 2009-10)
- Four Montgomery County titles (2005-06, 2008-09)
- Two IHSAA Crawfordsville Sectional championships (2006 and 2010)
By John Groth
Mark Hesse admits this coming winter season - his final one as Crawfordsville High School's swim coach - will be bittersweet.
After coaching the Athenians the past five seasons, Hesse announced Thursday that the 2010-11 season will be his last.
His wife, Debbie, received once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as she's going to become the Executive Director of the USA Swimming Foundation. So, he and their two daughters (Gabriella and Hannah), will follow her. After going through this school year, they will join Debbie in Colorado Springs, Colo., next summer.
"We're excited for Debbie and looking forward to the opportunity that awaits us as a family in Colorado Springs. But we've really grown to love Crawfordsville," Mark Hesse said. "I'm happy in my position. But it's a great move for our family. To be able to bring our girls up in Crawfordsville, it's been a true blessing."
Since taking over the Crawfordsville program in 2005, Hesse has helped kick it to a new level. The Athenians' girls team has won five straight Indiana High School Athletic Association Crawfordsville Sectional, Sagamore Athletic Conference and Montgomery County meet titles during his tenure. The boys team has captured four county, four conference and two sectional championships (including their first sectional title since 2005 this past spring).
Both teams ended this season back on top, as they swept the county, conference and sectional meets. Crawfordsville's girls team set three school records at the IHSAA State finals preliminaries had three top-15 finishes at the IHSAA State finals, while the boys advanced four to the preliminaries round.
He's also helped increase participation and heighten awareness of the Sugar Creek Swim Club.
Coming over after leading North Central to the IHSAA boys state swimming title in 2005, he's continued to flourish at Crawfordsville.
Admittedly, he said replacing a coach like Gus Arzner (167-11-1 boys record, including 100 straight wins in dual meets) hasn't been an easy task either.
"Gus did a great job. I hope I continued on in that vain. We've had some success," Hesse said. "I've spoken with [Superintendent] Dr. [Kathy] Steele and the school district is committed to finding great position. It's an important position, not only for the high school team and Sugar Creek Swim Club team, but for the entire community. I think we'll attract a lot of attention for this position."
Mark and Debbie Hesse both acknowledged it was a hard decision.
"We absolutely loved Crawfordsville," Debbie said.
With Debbie's new job not starting until November, it also made it tough to figure out what to do. So, they decided to have Mark and their daughters stay in Crawfordsville to complete the coming school year.
"With the timing, we felt like it was important for the girls to not interrupt their school. The only real logical time was at either end of the year or the middle of the year," Mark Hesse said. "If we moved at the middle of the year, that's swim season. It would've been difficult for everybody in the program. It will be tough for us to be apart. But it's the best decision for us as a family."