All-Area Girls' Swimming COY: Uni's Howard Schein

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All-Area Girls' Swimming COY: Uni's Howard Schein

Coach of the Year:
Urbana Uni High’s Howard Schein


Why he’s Coach of the Year: Illineks won the Twin City title for the first time (placing higher than third for the first time) and followed up with school’s first sectional championship while advancing a school-record five girls to state (previous best was two). Team employed a “quality” training program, frequently swimming repeats at race pace during the one-a-day, 105-minute morning workout.

Season highlights: “Every swimmer contributed to the team’s season’s successes in dual meets and invitationals. All swimmers who swam at sectionals scored points and many were top-six finishers,” Schein said. “We had 85 percent personal-best times at sectionals. The captains pulled the team together into a tightly knit support system.”

A few of my favorites: First job was as lifeguard at Steam Bath ... favorite food is wife Debbie’s Thanksgiving pumpkin pie ... last text to my daughters Stevie and Zoe ... Role model, my mom. A Chicago beach is destined to be named for her next year ... Volvo station wagon ... Escobar’s for eats; Mirabelle’s for treats ... Bella Fleck and Abigail Washburn ... Favorite athlete, 1960 Olympic gold medalist Bill Mulliken ... Favorite author, Richard Powers ... Big Bang Theory ... If I weren’t doing this, I see myself spending more time in my pottery studio ... On my bucket list, tour Italy with my wife, river rafting in the Grand Canyon and scuba dive with Jonathan Bird’s Blue World.

About Coach Schein: “Howie has been instrumental to my development as a swimmer. I’ve been swimming competitively since age 6, so I’ve had a lot of experience with different coaches. I can say that he has a really unique style of coaching. Howie puts a lot of emphasis on technique and often has us doing wacky drills over and over. When you’re swimming miles and miles every week, you get comfortable in a certain style that might not be the fastest way to go. It’s amazing how Howie can come up with little changes to your style that might feel ridiculous at the time but can lead to major time drops in a race. Swimming can be a lonely sport when you’re competing all by yourself, but Howie really goes the extra mile to make a bunch of swimmers into a team. He genuinely cares about each and every girl on the team and gives everyone one-on-one time in the pool. I can’t recall a single race in my four years on the team where he hasn’t been on the side of the pool cheering me on. I couldn’t have asked for a better coach to lead us through this fantastic season.” — Mary Evans Dickerson, Uni High senior swimmer

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