July 17, 2019
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‘The face of Brewer swimming’ steps down from coaching post

Courtesy photo | BDN
Courtesy photo | BDN
Brewer High School swimming coach Kathy Cahill (left) received the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches' Association Outstanding Service Award at the association’s national meeting held at Greensboro, North Carolina, in March 2015.

After 30 years of coaching Brewer High School swimming and diving, Kathy Cahill submitted her resignation earlier this month.

“It has been an absolute honor to represent Brewer High. I have loved working for Brewer High School,” Cahill said. “I’m so appreciative of the administrators who supported me and the swim program all these years, particularly former principal Jerry Goss and former athletic director Dennis Kiah who were in leadership for the majority of my career and most recently athletic administrator David Utterback.

“I will miss most the opportunity to inspire the young people to discover the magic that resides within them,” added Cahill, who complimented her assistant coaches for their investment and support.

“My time at Brewer has been on the back end of Kathy’s career,” Utterback said. “It became evident to me when I took over for Dennis Kiah in 2012 that she was right up my alley so to speak. She is a communicator which I like and she has strong organizational skills.”

Utterback also praised Cahill for her work with the Penobscot Valley Conference following the retirement of Philip Emery from Bangor High, who had served in a swimming leadership capacity with the PVC.

“When Kathy assumed the PVC responsibilities it was a seamless transition,” Utterback said.

The PVC recently voted to name the PVC Swimming Coach of the Year Award for girls in honor of Cahill. Cahill will retain her swim responsibilities with the PVC.

Her coaching resignation was prompted by a professional opportunity available to her husband and Cahill.

“My husband, a senior network engineer, recently has accepted a new position where he travels frequently out of state. He’s sacrificed his own professional career to some extent so I could remain coaching at Brewer,” she said. “Now, I will be joining him on his upcoming travels throughout the country. While I’m excited about this new adventure, I will miss the swim team more than words can express.

“It is so hard do so something for 30 years and walk away when you still have the passion I have for coaching at Brewer,” the past president of the Maine Interscholastic Swim Coaches’ Association added.

Emery — who retired in 2015, ending his 46 years as swimming and diving coach at Bangor High School, and who served on various interscholastic swim committees with Cahill — recognized her impact.

“Kathy has been the face of Brewer swimming. She will be a huge loss to Brewer High School and to Maine swimming,” Emery said. “She put her heart and soul into Brewer swimming and into Maine interscholastic swimming. Kathy is an incredible organizer. She spent hours preparing workouts for each of her swimmers. She made her kids her number one. She will be tremendously missed.”

In 1988, Cahill’s first year, five swimmers and divers represented Brewer. Eleven years later the Witches had 67 swimmers/divers.

Cahill, a foreign language teacher in Orono from 1988-2000, consistently has been a strong advocate for interscholastic diving.

“Diving is one of the 12 events in a swim meet. It is a definite skill set that allows a student an opportunity to participate and to be part of a team. I love the opportunities diving affords,” she said.

During Cahill’s tenure, Brewer swimmers/divers collected seven first-place finishes

at state meets and 25 earned Academic All American recognition from the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches’ Association.

In 2016, Jessica Hodsdon (Class of 2009), one of Cahill’s swimmers, was inducted into the Brewer High Hall of Fame. Hodsdon won numerous gold medals at state championships before winning New England titles and earning All American recognition at Bentley College.

Former UMaine coach gets St. Bonaventure job

Former University of Maine swim coach Skip Nitardy has been named head coach of swimming at St. Bonaventure University. Before his appointment at St. Bonaventure, the past senior director of competitive swimming and aquatics at the Bangor YMCA was employed as athletic director at The Epiphany School of Global Studies in New Bern, North Carolina.

Nitardy, a University of South Alabama graduate, was the head coach at UMaine from July 2007 to October 2009.

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