Rebecca Rowe, a member of Aberdeen High School’s 2008 state championship girls swim team, will be returning to the pool as the new coach of the Bobcat male swimmers.
Rowe’s appointment as head boys swim coach was confirmed at Tuesday night’s Aberdeen School Board meeting. She succeeds Keith Lile, who resigned following the 2012-13 season.
A 2009 AHS alum (she was home-schooled and participated in Grays Harbor College’s Running Start program), Rowe is a recent graduate of the University of Washington, where she earned a bachelor of science in bio engineering.
She is currently seeking medical-related employment with the goal of attending medical school and becoming a physician.
While this will be her first head-coaching assignment, she has assisted with the YMCA of Grays Harbor Sea Otters swim team for several years and also helped with a swim club for a year in the Seattle area while attending the UW.
“I think it’s really cool,” Rowe said of the Bobcat job. “I’m a little worried, because I know it’s a big job, but I’m looking forward to getting a shot and I know it’s going to be a great season.”
Her appointment ends a long search for Lile’s successor. There were no applicants for the job for several months, prompting widespread speculation that Lile would return on an interim basis or that the boys swim program would be disbanded.
Both rumors were unfounded, according to Aberdeen athletic director Ken Ashlock.
“(Eliminating the program) was never even spoken,” Ashlock asserted. “We were going to find a coach, one way or the other.”
“We’re excited to have (Rebecca) on board,” he added.
Lile recently reaffirmed that he would be unable to coach next season, although he said he would be open to returning to the program within a few years.
At 21, Rowe may well be the state’s youngest high school head swim coach. She said she is less concerned with that than her lack of experience in coaching boys. She worked almost exclusively with girls on the youth teams.
“Age was never a problem,” she maintained. “I know it’s going to be different coaching a group of guys.”
Primarily a butterflier and breaststroker at Aberdeen, Rowe was a member of a Bobcat 200-yard medley relay team that won a district championship and finished second at state in 2008.
She also placed fourth in the 200 individual medley and sixth in the 100 breaststroke as the Bobcats captured the state 2A team championship that year.