The Free Press
When Mankato East athletic director Todd Waterbury went looking for a girls swimming and diving coach this spring, he didn’t have to look very far.
Waterbury announced on Thursday that Mankato native Amanda Stevens will take over the program beginning with the 2013-14 school year. Stevens was a four-year assistant with the East/Loyola girls, starting in 2006.
A 2002 graduate of Mankato West, the 29-year-old Stevens qualified for state in three straight seasons.
She then attended the University of Minnesota and received a degree in retail merchandising in 2006.
Among Stevens’ other swim coaching experiences are two years at the Ridgedale YMCA, three years as an assistant with the Mankato West boys team, two years with the Mankato Mantas and two years with the Mankato YMCA’s Mankato Marlins.
“I have an obvious love for the sport, and I love coaching,” Stevens said. “It’s an opportunity to get the team to grow and excel, and I’m excited to be a part of that.”
She was offered the job Wednesday and accepted Thursday.
She will continue to work in her family’s business, Independent Paint & Flooring, while coaching.
Stevens replaces Tim Johnson, who retired at the conclusion of last season after 34 years in the program.
Johnson is expected to continue coaching the East/Loyola boys team for at least one more season.
“I’m looking forward to meeting with the captains and the parents before the season starts,” Stevens said. “I didn’t start swimming competitively until seventh grade, and I think it’s important for the students at East to realize you don’t have to start young to achieve your goals.”