A Coach’s Perspective
Hello BSM Community!
My name is Damon Carrison, and it has been my pleasure to be the Head Coach for the girls’ swim and dive team at Benilde-St. Margaret’s since 2002 and for the boys’ swim team since 2004 (when we started it). Prior to BSM, I had coached at Osseo High School for 12 years. However, when some swimmers and families that I knew through another organization informed me that they were seeking a new coach at BSM and would like me to consider the position, I explored it because I was open to a change, and the commute was easier. I was quickly impressed by the intimate and vibrant school community as well as the streamlined (pun intended) support available to the athletic teams.
My arrival at BSM coincided with that of a few experienced swimmers and determined athletes. In other words, I intersected with history very well. Many teams at BSM enjoy a rich tradition of success, and the swim and dive team would be and has been one of them! In the first three seasons, I was given the opportunity to see a team that had been the doormat of the conference reach a 2nd place finish at State with numerous event champions and medalists.
We were so encouraged by our success that we decided to branch out and start a boys’ team. There were some brave students with competitive swimming backgrounds who were willing to promote the idea, and with confidence and hard work, they banded together about 15 boys, to kick-off the inaugural season. We enjoyed a perfect record that first year (0-7) and had a blast. Fast forward to the 2016-17 season, and BSM had a State Champion in the Boys’ 100 Freestyle and runner-up in the 200 Freestyle (we have had numerous Section Champions and State and Section medalists along the way).
The achievements have been gratifying and spectacular, but my favorite part has been getting to know the students and their families. Many of the graduates will return to visit in the summer mornings when the girls’ season begins or over winter break during the boys’ season. It’s great to hear how they are doing, how college is, how their new job is, or even to see pictures of their new baby (plus, they sometimes bring me coffee).
Coaching, mentoring and maybe even becoming friends with the BSM athletes and families has been a delight that I look forward to year after year, and I know it will continue. The BSM community is a special place, and I am proud to be a part of it.
I cannot be sure what will become of this “blog” activity (this is my first attempt), but if you’ll have me, I will happily be back to share current events as they unfold on the respective teams.