Skyline swimming continues reign of dominance under Coach Joe
Skyline swimming won all 13 of their meets this season. (George Karahalios/ Holladay)
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Skyline High School swimming has been a dominant force in the high school swimming community for some time now. While they have clearly had talent, this consistency is no accident, and much of it has come under the helm of Head Coach Joe Pereira.
Pereira is a stern, no-nonsense kind of coach that seems to only have the betterment of his team and swimmers on his mind.
But having won 20 state championships in only 12 years of coaching, it appears success like that takes some sternness and no nonsense.
“Men and women’s swimming has won 29 state championships in the program's history. I have coached for 20 of them,” said Pereira.
And this season was no different. Skyline swimming won every single one of their meets this season (13, mind you) before the state tournament, where they continued their sweep en route to the state title.
The amount of effort by his team to have this kind of prosperity is not lost on Pereira either. And with his track record, he probably has a wise thing or two to say about it. “With swimming, to win a state championship, everyone needs to perform at their highest level. Everyone needs to be willing the pay the price, myself included,” he said.
This storied success has seemed to really thrive under his helm. “You know how a good program is doing if the coach is always talking about how they can get better,” Pereira said.
And this attitude of constant improvement has led the largest team Pereira has ever coached (87 swimmers!) to great success this season and past seasons. “The program’s success I think can be clearly seen when swimmers really buy into the program, and are willing to put in the effort,” he said.
This constant-improvement mindset has led Pereira and his team to become not only better swimmers, but also better people.
“I’m always trying to teach life skills as well (as swimming). These kids are willing to balance swimming with life, and that can show them how commitment has to be in balance with general life skills as well,” Pereira said.
As a coach, while he can shout all the technique and support advice he wants, Pereira is aware that he can only do so much out of the water. He wants his swimmers to have this mindset of pure effort instilled day in and day out, in practice, meets and life.
“You know, to have this kind of success, you need to constantly ask yourself, ‘Are you willing to lay it all on the line against your opponents, or even your teammates?’ The price is different for each player, and as a coach, it is my job to figure that out.”
While Skyline swimming has had a grand history of titles and success under Coach Joe, a big reason for that is because they have clearly worked their tails off for it. The team seems destined to continue this dynasty of titles with this mindset of pure, unbridled effort.