Varsity Swimming Coach Scott Shelton Resigns


Mr. Shelton talking assistant coach Rob Spurgeon during a swim meet

The Girls Swim and Dive team head coach, Scott Shelton, has officially moved on from the swim team. Mr. Shelton called the team for a meeting on Monday, Feb. 6, and told them the news. He explained that his work is requiring him to be present more; consequently, he will not be able to come back next year. The team was sad to see their beloved coach go.
Mr. Shelton is a Berkley alumnus and swam for the Boys Swim and Dive Team in 1978. He has been coaching for about 44 years and has coached the Berkley Girls Swim and Dive Team for the past seven years. Mr. Shelton has made a huge impact on so many of his swimmers’ lives. I interviewed Mr. Shelton and asked what he loved most about coaching, he said, “I loved being around the swimmers, I loved the energy and everything we have created.” He helped to increase interest and participation in girls swim and dive, with the 2022 team having 50+ members!. He has helped the team go from the blue division (lowest division) to the white (middle division). Meaning that Mr. Shelton helped the team to improve enough, to compete against greater competition.
Given all of his coaching experience, Mr. Shelton has learned a lot from coaching. I asked him what he learned from coaching the girls team and he replied, “it’s not all about the swimming. It’s about being a team, being a group and being a family.” I also asked him what he will miss most about coaching the girls team and he said, “I will miss being at Berkley High School with everyone at alma mater.”
I also interviewed a few of his swimmers whom he has coached for a long time and asked what makes Mr. Shelton such a good coach. Sophomore Lucy Pugh said, “Coach Scott created a fun and friendly environment at the pool, and he always took the time to help us out to improve.” Pugh has swum under Coach Scott for 8 years and is very thankful for that time. When asked what she had learned from Mr. Shelton, Pugh responded, “Coach Scott has taught me that swimming isn’t always about making improvements in the pool; it’s also about making friendships and having fun outside of the pool.” Pugh loves being on the swim team and knows it will be very different without Mr. Shelton. She is very sad to see him go and wishes him all the best. I also interviewed freshman Ruby Spurgeon and asked what Mr. Shelton had taught her. Spurgeon responded, “He helped me learn and improve in swimming.” Spurgeon has swum under Mr. Shelton on the Berkley Swim and Dive Team, but also at Atlantis Swimming, a club swim team. Spurgeon has known Mr. Shelton for many years, and he has taught her almost everything she knows about swimming.
Lastly, I interviewed junior Bryce Scully and asked her what her reaction was to the news of Mr. Shelton stepping down. She said, “I was really sad when I found out that Coach Scott won’t be coaching. He’s been my coach for six years and made me the swimmer who I am now.” Scully explained how much she has loved having Mr. Shelton as her coach, saying, “Coach Scott always pushed us swimmers, but also made sure that we had fun in the water.” Scully has had significant accomplishments while being coached by Mr. Shelton, including holding three individual Berkley Swim and Dive records, along with being a part of two record-breaking relays.
Scully and Pugh have both qualified and competed at state-level meets for Berkley, and Mr. Shelton has been there to support them and help them along the way. He has also had much success at the head coach position with seven Berkley girls swimming records having been broken with him as head coach. Along with, getting second at league championships multiple times. Mr. Shelton also coached two collegiate athletes through the Berkley swim program.
Mr. Shelton was a very beloved Berkley swim coach, and he will be missed. He helped change the team for the better. Mr. Shelton has impacted so many young swimmers’ lives and helped them become not only better swimmers but also better people. Scully said, “Coach Scott taught me how to be a leader when I need to be one.” Mr. Shelton has taught swimmers important life skills. We are very lucky we got to have Mr. Shelton as a coach and we wish him all the best.