At 8:30 last night, a shockwave went through a small classroom in the Allen Center. Coach Barnes, who has been training me since I was a freshman, announced he was taking an assistant coaching job at Penn State. It was not so much that he was leaving that surprised me. It was just the timing of the scenario. It felt like I was getting slammed in the face with a brick. I really expected to have him coach our team throughout my Wabash swimming career, but things happen for a reason.
Swimming has been such an integral part of my life, and to see Coach have to leave my senior year is really heartbreaking, to say the least. But I do not think anyone can replace what Coach Barnes has done for me personally in and out of the pool. He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. He helped me reach goals I was sure I couldn’t accomplish. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. I know that he will do awesome at Penn State, and I want to thank him for all the good he has done for the Wabash swimming program and for me as a person.
Even through this, I am still looking forward to an awesome last year with the guys. I will be sure to give you updates as the season progresses. A few things will change, but it will still be great!