Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009 | 12:26 p.m.
Amongst all of Bret Lundgaard’s achievements as a swimmer at the University of Washington, the most indicative of his future career as a coach came outside of the pool.
In addition to setting school records, qualifying for the Olympic Trials and being named academic all-conference each year, Lundgaard was voted “Most Inspirational” by his teammates three times during his four years as a Husky.
Earlier this month, the Boulder City High graduate made the cross-country move to West Point, N.Y., taking a position as assistant swimming coach with the Army Black Knights.
“This is a tremendous opportunity,” Lundgaard said. “It’s not only one of the best schools in the country, it’s a Division I school and overall, just an incredible job.”
Army coach Mickey Wender was Lundgaard’s college coach at Washington.
“Bret and I worked very well together as coach and athlete and I’m really looking forward to working with him again,” Wender said.
“I have no doubt that he’ll have a huge and immediate impact on our cadet-athletes. He has embraced the West Point mission and is ready to do whatever it takes to help our program be successful.”
Arriving at Army the beginning of this month, Lundgaard has been pleasantly surprised with the amount of responsibility put on his shoulders thus far.
“[Mickey] believes in me and trusts in me,” he said. “He’s placed a lot of responsibility on me and that’s all I can ask for right now, an opportunity to build on that trust.”
Lundgaard’s rise up the coaching ranks comes as no surprise to his mother, Sara Carroll, who is the swimming coach at Boulder City High.
“I’ve seen the potential since the mid-teen years,” Carroll said. “He’s verbal, knowledgeable but most importantly, passionate about what he does.”
Lundgaard joins a program that finished second and fourth in the Patriot League for men’s and women’s swimming, respectively, and he sees a lot of potential with the Black Knights program.
“We’ll be much improved,” he said. “We’re going to have an impressive team and an awesome year.”