DALLAS — The Dallas High swim team is in need of a new head coach.
Former coach Jeff Bemrose announced he accepted the head swim coach position at North Marion High School.
“Swim positions don’t come open very often,” Bemrose said. “People tend to hang on to them for a long time. I think we kind of reached our peak in 2014 and we needed more support from the schools.”
The swim team is considered a club squad, meaning funding for costs associated with the team had to come from fundraising efforts.
“Funds have been really tight for the program,” Bemrose said. “It’s been more difficult to replenish supplies. This last year, I just felt they probably weren’t going to do anything for a while and it would be best for me to look at some other options with other schools. I love coaching. It’s probably a good thing for me to leave Dallas because Dallas needs to rethink how they fund this program.”
The lack of funding took a toll on Bemrose.
“They have to fund themselves,” Bemrose said. “These last two years our numbers have been down. Most of our funds comes from the pay-to-play fee. We haven’t been able to do as many meets and our fundraising hasn’t been as successful.”
Bemrose had a successful five-year tenure with the Dragons.
He helped numerous Dallas swimmers reach the Class 5A state swim meet.
In addition, Bemrose said he took pride in hosting some of the conference’s best swim meets.
“I want to thank all the parent support and all the great support we had,” Bemrose said. “We had, in my opinion, the best run swim meets in the league. Other teams loved coming to Dallas because we put on a good swim meet.”
North Marion High School competes in the 4A level, where Bemrose hopes to avoid some of the difficulties faced during his tenure with Dallas.
“(North Marion has) all the elements of having a state championship team,” Bemrose said. “It’s harder for Dallas because they face more difficult competition and are more reliant upon club teams at state.”
Corvallis and Albany have dominated the league for so long because they have a good club program, he added.
“We were able to break some of that barrier when my coaching staff and I came on. Before, we were hit or miss and could get a few kids to state, but now we were consistently getting kids there, so that was nice.”
As Bemrose prepares for his new endeavor, he said he hopes to bring North Marion to one of Dallas’ meets.
As he steps away from the Dragons, Bemrose is grateful for his five years spent leading Dallas’ high school squad.
“I’m very appreciative of Dallas High School and the opportunity they gave me,” Bemrose said. “I think I’ve done as much as I can with Dallas and the current structure that’s there.”