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Swimming & Diving News

Coach Guthrie Receives North Coast Section Distinguished Service Award

(2016-10-06) Following is a statement of recognition from the NCS, in awarding Coach Steve Guthrie with a Distinguished Service Award:

There is something to be said for longevity, but that by itself does not ensure a memorable career. Steve Guthrie certainly has longevity. Starting with a two-year stint at San Lorenzo High, Guthrie has coached high school aquatics for the past 40 years, the last 30 at De La Salle. It is the level of contribution he has made to the sport and the North Coast Section during that time which makes him a deserving recipient of the North Coast Section Distinguished Service Award. Before coming to De La Salle in 1987, Guthrie coached swimming and water polo (plus four years of soccer) at San Lorenzo, Canyon, Pinole Valley and Salesian high schools. While coaching at Pinole, he founded the summer rec league team, West County Aquatics, to help the high school programs in that area. After eight years at Salesian, Guthrie became a coach and teacher at De La Salle. His world changed when he took over one of the perennial powers in the NCS, and in turn he changed the world around him. He started the DLS Swimming and Diving Invitational, and for 27 years it has been the biggest and longest-running meet in the Section. His Spartans have won 21 league championships and four NCS titles. His most memorable season was 1990, when the Spartans won the NCS title by embodying his coaching philosophy: “It’s not about the individual, it’s about us as a team,” he said. De La Salle did not win a single event in the three-day meet but racked up enough place points to edge second-place Amador Valley 150-148 for the team title. He was named NCS Honor Coach that season, and the school has honored him as both Coach of the Year and La Sallian Teacher of the Year. Five of his swimmers have competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials, and in 2012 diver Kristian Ipsen won a bronze medal in the Olympics in London. Guthrie is not just a fixture on the pool deck at swim meets, he has also served as meet director for six different leagues as well as the NCS meet. He has been on the NCS Management Committee for nearly his entire coaching career, and is a member of the CIF State Advisory committee. He started a new policy to allow the top divers to get a berth in the NCS meet. At the state meet level, he developed entry forms for the NCS Management team and helped set time standards and increased the number of automatic entries. Guthrie just keeps giving, continuing to model the best about coaching and educational athletics.

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