Hobbs News Sun

The last lap for Debbie Dean

The last lap for Debbie Dean

In more ways than one, it’s the end of an era for the Hobbs swim team.

Beginning next year, the Eagles and Lady Eagles swim teams will no longer be swimming at Badger Natatorium on the campus of Hobbs High School. Instead, they will be swimming at the CORE. But that isn’t the only change Hobbs swimming is facing. Long-time swim coach Debbie Dean has also decided to step down.

“Forty years ago I started swimming,” Dean said. “That is where I learned to swim, in that pool (Badger Natatorium). That has been my only home. Going from being the athlete to coaching the younger kids and then coaching the high school team, it is kind of like, I don’t want to go (to the CORE).

“I think it is a good way to transition,” she continued. “It is going to be a new pool and a new facility, and it is new for everybody and having a new coach come in.”

Dean coached the Hobbs swim team for 16 years. However, she felt with the move to a new aquatic facility and changes in her teaching job, priorities have shifted. Dean teaches advanced chemistry and advanced psychology at the high school, but she also oversees all of the district’s science teachers and is responsible for the science curriculum in grades six through 12.

“With the state switching to and adopting the next gen science standards, and me being the science coordinator for our district, I really feel like I need to put my time into making sure that our teachers are prepared for that,” Dean said. “That is what my job is. I don’t think I can effectively do that and still coach.”

The swim team held its season-ending banquet on Thursday, March 15. Dean said she informed the team at the banquet she was stepping down.

As with anything that you do for an extended period of time, Dean said there would be aspects of it that she will miss, as well as some stuff she won’t miss.

“I will miss the kids,” Dean said. “I will miss the competitions, the memories, but the day to day, working every single weekend on Saturday and Sunday, doing paperwork after paperwork, I won’t miss that.”

When she sat back to reflect on all the teams she coached, winning the state title in 2013 goes down as one of her greatest memories.

“All of the seasons have their place in my heart,” Dean said. “I guess my greatest memory is when the boys won state my son’s junior year.”

But, as one door closes, another one opens. For Dean, that means getting to do more things with her family and supporting her son who is about to graduate college.

“Being able to do some of the things I’ve missed,” Dean said. “My son has graduated, so he is no longer here. I don’t get to see him anymore because any time he has functions at the college, I am here at a swim meet. I think just going back and being able to see my son get off into politics and see where his life takes him on his next journey. He is about to graduate college, so I am ready to see that and support him. Being able to do more family time.”