Sophie Davies has been hired as the next varsity boys & girls swim coach, Nantucket Athletic Director Travis Lombardi announced Wednesday morning. Davies is a member of the NHS Class of 2015 and holds many of the school's diving records. She said she is excited to take on this job while carrying on the many traditions of the program that have helped it be so successful for many years.
"I'm just really excited to be part of this team again," she said. "I think what drew me to the job was a chance to rebuild. What was always so important to the program were the traditions and creating opportunities for swimmers of all ages to be together. Not everyone was part of this team because they would be the best swimmer. They were there because they liked the team aspect so much."
Davies has swam competitively at the state level and dove at the national level. She said that she is still in the process of putting her staff together, but one assistant that will be by her side is Doreen Allen, a longtime coach for Nantucket Club Swimming.
This will be Davies first head coaching gig, but she said she is embracing the challenge and is excited her first coaching job will be on the island where she began swimming when she was nine years old.
Davies has been living in New York for the past year, but will be moving back to Nantucket next week. She said she plans to speak with her team on Thursday through a zoom call to introduce herself before the season begins on November 28.
The hire of Davies as the program's only head coach appears to confirm that the school has abandoned the new coaching structure that created this job opening in the first place, where they planned to have one varsity boys head coach and one varsity girls head coach. These changes were presented as an ultimatum to former head coach Jim Pignato as something he would need to oblige by if he wanted to return for his 20th season as head coach.
Pignato balked at the proposed structure and told the school he would not return as head coach on September 27.
The school said in a statement sent to the Current last month that they felt a change to the old coaching structure was needed, but did not present any reasons as to why this decision was made or what findings made them feel a change was necessary.
Assistant head coaches Natalie Thompson and Olivia Gallugi also stepped down after 14 and four years respectively alongside Pignato. In brief statements sent to the Current, they cited personal reasons and a disagreement with the proposed coaching structure the school was implementing as the reasons behind their decision.