Pool Manager sees Mingus through decades of change (copy)

Longtime Gold Coast Swim Team coach Kathe McNutt stands next to the Mingus Park Pool in May. 

Bethany Baker, The World

Longtime Gold Coast Swim Team coach Kathe McNutt was honored with the Coaches Excellence Award by Oregon Swimming during its annual top-five banquet recently.

The honor is the highest annual award given by the group and presented to one coach each year.

McNutt, who also coaches the Marshfield High School swim team and is a graduate of the school, has been a coach for more than 40 years in the sport.

Along the way, she has overseen changes to the Mingus Park Pool that include a heated pool house and the facility being open year-round. She has coached a number of state champions and college athletes.

In the biography she sent to Oregon Swimming for the event, she said, “Of all ‘my’ accomplishments, I’m most proud of the fact that a group of people in our community originally came together to run this facility as a year-round endeavor to provide me the opportunity to coach all year long, and coach the children I love, from preschool through high school, all year round.”

Though she has coached swimmers who went on to great success beyond high school, she enjoys just as much the kids who are just starting.

“I like to think of these kids as my successes, but I also enjoy the children I coach at the entry level as much as the young adults I’ve coached into the annals of swimming excellence,” she said in her biography.

She previously was named the coach of the year by Oregon Swimming in 1984 and also received the Outstanding Contribution to Oregon Swimming by a Coach award the same year.

“Awards have been an affirmation of my coaching career,” she said. “But no award could replace the gratitude and joy I have derived in the unexpected career I embarked upon 41 years ago. Little did I know I was creating my life, rather than just getting a job.”

McNutt received the award at the 37th annual ceremony for Oregon Swimming. Retired South Coast Aquatic Team coach Chris Richmond received the same honor in 2015.

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