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Watson takes over Norwin swim program

August 8, 2018 GMT

Norwin tapped a familiar person recently to help turn around its boys and girls swimming teams.

Doug Watson, a former Knights standout and a 2016 inductee to the Norwin Athletic Hall of Fame, has been hired as head coach for the 2018-19 season.

Watson replaces Neil Rushnock, who stepped down after last season. Norwin athletic director Brandon Rapp believes Rushnock served 15 years, 10 as an assistant and five as head coach.

Watson, 52, of North Huntingdon, swam for the Knights in the 1980s. In the 1983-84 season, he was a PIAA medalist in two events individually.

He went on to compete for Edinboro.

Rapp said Watson has more than a decade of high school coaching experience and was one of eight applicants.

Watson, who works in sales for a greeting-card company, said he is making a list of things he wants to accomplish. He plans to meet with team members after they return to school.

“Lot more (will be) expected on their end,” he said. “Lot more practice, lot more time.”

Watson said he knows a lot of the kids from the Norwin Aqua Club, where he has coached for three years.

Watson, who is married and has three children, said his goal is getting more kids to the state meet.

Only one Knight qualified last season.

Ethan Tulenko, who was a sophomore, competed in the 50-yard freestyle after placing sixth at the WPIAL Class AAA championship.

Watson said he wants to take Norwin back to its roots, which include a PIAA girls title in 1981-82.

Tulenko is excited about the change.

“Doug Watson, (assistant coach) Laurie Federovich and (assistant coach) Carly Harter will bring a wealth of experience,” Tulenko said. “The future is bright.

“I look forward to seeing hard work pay off at WPIALs, as well as having more of my teammates qualify for states.”