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Longtime Vikes coach retires

Rusty Swisher ran Valencia boys golf program since its inception

Posted: November 23, 2009 11:08 p.m.
Updated: November 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
One of Valencia High’s original head coaches has finally called it a career.

Rusty Swisher, who started the school’s boys golf program in 1995, officially retired as head coach last month.

He retired from teaching in June, but was going to lead the boys golf program at least one more year.

The 61-year-old recently had back surgery though, which led him to make the decision.

“I think it’s the neatest program in the Southern Section. Of course I made it,” said Swisher in his typically unique manner.

Swisher preached development and mixed in a sense of humor with a style all his own to help guide the Vikings program to success.

Valencia has made the postseason every year since 1996.

The Vikings won Foothill League titles in 2000 and 2002 and produced some of the decade’s best golfers in the area — which included Brandon Christianson, Louis Amira and Max Homa.

“All those coaches who were here from beginning who dealt with growing pains and having to deal with the opening of a new school are special people,” said Valencia athletic director Brian Stiman, who also was the school’s first football head coach. “(Swisher) was here in the lean years. He was one of the original ones. He should be commended for that. He did a great job.”

The 6-foot-5-inch coach with a booming voice has been a fixture at Valencia High athletic events and a vocal supporter of the school’s many programs.

Stiman said there are a couple of options that the school will look at for a new head coach.

Robert Waters was the school’s JV boys golf head coach last season.

Swisher recommended him, but Waters is tied up right now as the defensive coordinator for Valencia’s football team.

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