by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Colleen Killpatrick, coach of Elk River-Rogers-Zimmerman girls swimming for 19 straight winning seasons, has resigned.
“I have really enjoyed all the great athletes I have coached here,” said Killpatrick, whose two daughters were among those. “It has been a great experience and I’m really glad I had the chance.”
She made the announcement at her team’s banquet Monday.
Under Killpatrick’s guidance, Elk swimming had at least one all-stater all 19 seasons (meaning top-eight finishes at state) with 10 earning All-America status.
Her teams always had winning records, and captured six conference titles, 10 section titles and two true-team section titles, before Maple Grove started to dominate conference and section.
Dozens of Elk swimmers have gone on to college teams, including eight currently.
She was named section coach of the year approximately 10 times, including this year.
Killpatrick got married earlier this year and is now living in Lakeville. The commute made it difficult to continue coaching here, she said.
“I am definitely going to take a year off,” said Killpatrick, adding that she might coach again if an opportunity came up closer to home.
Killpatrick swam for Mounds View High School, where her father was the coach, and for Iowa State. Another former MVHS swimmer, Doug Bloom, has been her assistant all 19 years.
She taught Jobs for American Graduates at ERHS for several years, but not for the last two years.
For 11 of her 19 seasons, she had a daughter on the team, first Amy, then Melissa, five years younger. Her son Alex was also an Elk swimmer. Melissa is currently a senior on the UW-Green Bay team.