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Perdisatt resigns as Valencia swimming coach

• Girls had best finish in Vikings team history

Posted: June 21, 2008 2:22 a.m.
Updated: August 22, 2008 5:04 a.m.
 

Valencia's head swim coach Kathleen Perdisatt has bid adieu to the Vikings team.

Perdisatt stepped down after eight seasons with Valencia.

She will be trading in her swimsuit and whistle for multiplication tables and book reports, as she transitions into teaching full-time at Bouquet Canyon Elementary School.

She has been teaching second and third grades part-time for the past three years.

Perdisatt said the time was right for her to desist her position as the Vikings leader.

"I'm not leaving because I can't do it any more," Perdisatt said via telephone on Friday. "I'm leaving because it's the right time to move on. I really want to devote more time to teaching."

Perdisatt expressed that coaching had become such a pertinent part of her life.

"It was the first thing I thought about in the morning and the last thing I thought about at night," she said.

Under the leadership of Perdisatt, the Vikings swim team became invariable contenders in the Foothill League.

This past season, Valencia finished No. 2 in league behind Hart, with a record of 5-1 for both the boys and girls teams.

Perdisatt's biggest accomplishment in her eight seasons of coaching came in 2007, when the girls' team finished No. 3 in CIF-Southern Section Division II, the best in Vikings history.

"Our goal that first season was just survival," she said. "The program has come so far."

Perdisatt looks back fondly on her time with the Vikings and said seeing the progression of the young athletes was the most gratifying element of her job.

"The best part about it is taking a team that had no confidence and bringing them to a point where they are not afraid of anyone, they are not intimidated by names of schools," she said.

Valencia athletic director Brian Stiman said that Perdisatt's departure is a huge loss to the Vikings program.

"She was awesome," Stiman said. "I was lucky, she made things easier for me."

Stiman, a former football coach, said that coming from the coaching world he is well aware of what the position entails and that Perdisatt did her job wholly and admirably.

"There are certain things that are difficult (about coaching) and she did a great job." Stiman said.

"The swim program was always one of the better ones in the valley," he added.

Although Valencia has yet to find Perdisatt's successor, Stiman said the school will takes its time in finding the right person.

"We want to make sure that we find someone that is as capable as she was," he said.

Perdisatt had a swim career of her own prior to coaching.

She grew up swimming in the Homeowner's Association League and swam for four years at Hart High.

She also swam for two years at the College of the Canyons before accepting her first job as a swim coach with the Canyons Aquatic Club.

More than anything, Perdisatt said she will miss the bond that she has forged with the athletes she felt so lucky to coach.

"What I will miss most is the relationships with the swimmers," she said. "They are a wonderful bunch of kids."

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