DALLAS -- David Morelli has been named as the new head coach for the Dallas Blue Dolphins swimming team, and there's no doubting his experience.
Morelli has been involved in swimming since his high school days in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was a member of the National Diving Committee and has coached teams in South Dakota, Alaska and Idaho. He once served as meet director for the Alaska State Championships.
There's also no doubting his enthusiasm.
"I just really love the sport of swimming," said Morelli, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church and a Dallas resident since 1995. "With the new pool here -- it's such a great pool -- I knew I'd like to be part of the program. I really believe swimming is one of the best sports in terms of life skills and learning work ethic and discipline. With the new pool, it's going to be a lot of fun."
Morelli and assistant Heidi Henry held their first Blue Dolphins practice Jan. 2 at the Dallas Aquatic Center with about 30 swimmers. Morelli believes that number could double or even triple and reminds interested persons it's still not too late to sign up for the current season.
"I'm hoping the new pool will attract new people," said Morelli, who replaces Teresa Tolzmann. "The convenience of being in town and being able to swim every day at five (o'clock) should help. That and the design of the pool itself. For its size and what you want, it's the best.
"I'm hoping the team can become more competitive with year-round teams. I'm hoping increased participation will mean we can add more relay teams and be in more events. I'd also really like to get the kids prepared for high school swimming. High school swimming can be a lot of fun with all the travel and everything."