News

Kentlake swim coach killed in plane crash | Breaking News

Seth Dawson, Kentlake swim coach - Kris Hill, The Reporter
Seth Dawson, Kentlake swim coach
— image credit: Kris Hill, The Reporter

Kentlake High swim coach Seth Dawson, 31, was one of three people who were on a plane that crashed Wednesday near North Bend, according to the swim club he worked for, Valley Aquatics Swim Team.

According to the Federal Way Mirror, Decatur swim coach Rob Hill, 30, was also a victim and the third victim has not been confirmed.

As of 4 p.m. Thursday the King County Medical Examiners office had not confirmed the identities of the three people on the plane.

Dawson was in his second season of coaching the Falcons boys swim and dive team. In the fall he took over the girls squad.

Kentlake's girls swim team took third place at state, the best finish in school history, in November under Dawson's leadership.

Dawson was particularly pleased with the way the season ended for the girls in November.

"This means a lot to the team, the girls worked very hard this year and everyone contributed something to the team's success," Dawson wrote in an email after the girls state swim meet. "I think the key to winning the trophy was perseverance. The kids never gave up, they kept swimming hard and all of our relay's really stepped up, we had some really great swims and scored points in all three relays. I was very proud of our kids and their accomplishments."

When he took over the boys program, he was the fourth coach in four seasons, but Dawson intended to stop the revolving door he told the Reporter in November 2010.

"I plan to be here a long time," Dawson said in November 2010 after his first practice with the boys team.

Dawson grew up in Vancouver, Wash., where he swam at Hudson's Bay High before competing on scholarship at California State University at Bakersfield, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and sports management.

In 2009 Dawson was coaching boys and girls high school swim in Corbett, Oregon, but decided he wanted to move closer to home and took a position with Valley Aquatics, a club team where he coached 10 to 14 year olds.

His supervisor with VAST worked at Kentlake and encouraged him to apply for the open position during the fall of 2010.

"I really enjoy working with kids," he told the Reporter in November 2010. "When you're on a big club team, it's more about the individual. But with high school, it's a team sport and the kids are helping each other. And I enjoy being a mentor."

Members of the swim teams were provided with extra support at Kentlake Thursday morning as the news began to spread.

VAST released a statement about Dawson and his fellow club coach, Rob Hill, to the media on Thursday. The full statement is below.

"Valley Aquatics is deeply saddened by the loss of our two beloved coaches, Seth Dawson and Rob Hill, who tragically lost their lives in a plane crash in the early morning hours of February 15th.

"Both Seth and Rob were amazing coaches, sons, brothers, uncles, and friends. They dedicated their lives to being positive role models to countless swimmers. They constantly went above and beyond the call of duty and truly helped shape Valley Aquatics to being more than just a swim team, but a family. Many of our swimmers describe both Seth and Rob as their 'Heroes'.

"They both had the unique ability to find the hidden talents in their swimmers and make them shine, whether those

talents were in the pool or in another arena of life. They led by example and brought a sense of purpose to the lives of many.

"Our hearts go out to their family and friends of all three victims as they make sense of this tragedy. We, as a team, are struggling to make sense of it and ask of it as well and ask for a little privacy as we work to heal the hearts of many swimmers, young and old."

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.