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Leindecker resigns as head coach of Bemidji boys swimming team

BEMIDJI – In 2004 Harvey Crable was the athletic director at Bemidji High School and he was searching for someone to be the head coach of the high school boys swimming and diving program.

At the time Woody Leindecker was handling those duties for the girls program. The girls compete during the fall and the boys in the winter so Crable asked Leindecker if he would consider adding the boys coaching chores to his job list, at least until Crable could find a permanent replacement.

“I told him that I would do it on a temporary basis,” Leindecker said. “And that was nine years ago.”

Earlier this year Leindecker decided that the time had come to relinquish the boys head coaching duties and three weeks ago he officially submitted a letter of resignation. He will maintain his role as the girls head coach but being the head coach of teams in back-to-back seasons was getting to be too much.

“I’m tired,” Leindecker said. “Going back-to-back for nine years has taken its toll. My kids are also growing and I want to spend some time with them.”

Leindecker had been contemplating this move for some time and during the 2013 boys season he decided that the time to move on had arrived.

“I am no longer able to endure the consecutive seasons of the girls and boys programs,” he wrote in his resignation letter to BHS activities director Troy Hendricks. “I no longer have the energy needed to continue with the boys season.

“I am thankful for all of the great athletes, coaches and administration I was involved with for the past nine seasons and I am proud of what the boys swimming and diving program has accomplished,” Leindecker added.

The list of accomplishments includes a fourth-place finish at the 2010 boys state Class A meet. Headlining that success was a state championship by Matt Wilcox in the 100 free.

Wilcox also was second that winter in the 200 free as was the 400 free relay squad. The 200 free relay team placed third in 2010.

Among the other swimmers who earned all-state status during Leindecker’s tenure were Dylan Hoven in the 1,500 and Paul Voss in the 500.

“We had a good run with the boys program,” Leindecker said. “The 2010 season will always be memorable for me but we’ve also had many other accomplishments. In addition to Matt as a state champion we have had numerous all-state award winners, individual section champions, three top-10 team finishes at state and we consistently qualified swimmers to the state meet.

“Leaving the boys program wasn’t a knee-jerk decision by any means,” Leindecker added. “This is something I have thought about for quite awhile. And I feel good about the decision.”

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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