Brian Jahnke is no stranger to North Platte High School athletics.Jahnke graduated from NPHS in 1987. And, for the past few years, he has been an assistant coach of the Lady Bulldog volleyball and soccer teams.
Andnow, Jahnke will be in charge of a North Platte program, as he replaces longtime NPHS boys' and girls' swimming head coach Jon Beggs.
Jahnke, who was a diver for Beggs, admitted that he will be a tough act to follow.
"I can never fill the shoes of Jon Beggs," Jahnke said. "He had so many years of experience. He has been very helpful to me with any questions that I have had."
When Beggs announced his retirement, Jahnke threw his hat into the ring and he was hired by activities director Marc Mroczek to replace Beggs.
Jahnke has stayed involved in swimming as his daughter, Natasha, swam for the team, and his son, Landon, is currently on the squad.
"I have been around the sport through the years and I love the family atmosphere of it," Jahnke said. "That's what sports are all about."
Jahnke said that he wants to help all of his swimmers get the most out of themselves. He believes that if he pushes them hard enough, they can improve at a rapid pace.
"I believe all swimmers and divers can improve on a daily basis," Jahnke said. "I believe that through hard physical work and mental toughness, young athletes can accomplish great things. I believe each and every one of our athletes has the ability to do great things if they are committed."
For his first year as coach, Jahnke has just over 30 swimmers on the team with a good balance throughout the four classes. He said that he likes the work ethic that his team has shown so far in practice.
"What I have noticed is all the athletes are willing to put forth a lot of effort," Jahnke said. "Whether they are new to the sport or a veteran, they all are working hard and supporting each other. Great things happen when that support happens on a daily basis."
Under their new coach, the Bulldog swim teams will open the season at the Hastings Invite on Dec. 7.
First published in the Nov. 20 print edition of the North Platte Bulletin.