The Poulsbo Piranhas Swim Team has also expanded to the Olympic Aquatic Center in East Bremerton

Mark McBride is the new head coach of the Poulsbo Piranhas Swim Team but is certainly not a new face to Kitsap. McBride takes over for Jerry Johnston, who lead the team since 2015.

McBride is a Port Orchard native and South Kitsap graduate who swam for the Wolves at the state level in the middle-distance freestyle events as well as relays. After graduation, McBride swam the breaststroke and individual medley events at the University of Puget Sound but his career was cut short due to a knee disorder. McBride turned his attention to earning his physical education degree and then his teaching certificate from Central Washington University.

Mark McBride took over head coaching duties for the Poulsbo Piranhas Swim Team this fall. (Courtesy photo)

McBride has been coaching youth swimmers for more than 30 years, working with all level of swimmers including nationally-ranked state and sectional champions. He coached swimming at Evergreen, Heritage, Union and Mountain View High Schools in Clark County, and was named the Coach of the Year 10 times by the Washington Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association during a five-year span coaching both boys and girls. He also had nine athletes named the Swimmers of the Meet and many earned All-League status and his teams earned All-Region honors.

Remaining as the Silver age group coach is Tom Springer. Springer began coaching in 2005 and was a collegiate nationally-ranked swimmer from 1992-94 who specialized in the backstroke and IM. Erika VanHuis is an age-group coach who has been involved with club swimming in various roles — first as an athlete, then a board member, official and now coach. VanHuis has the distinction of being the first swimmer to join PPST when it began in September 2002. 

The Piranhas also expanded their competitive program to the Olympic Aquatic Center. Last year, 10 Piranhas’ swimmers went on to swim at the collegiate level with one former swimmer, Tim Gallagher, earning his U.S. Olympic trials cut time. In 2018 the Piranhas’ girls helped North Kitsap High School win the 2A state championship and several PPST boys guided the Kingston Buccaneers to a 2A team title in 2017. 

Poulsbo offers three training levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold. For more information on PPST, contact McBride at swimwithppst.headcoach@gmail.com, or go to their website.

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