Retired, sort of … Guilford welcomes Coach Steve Kaczmarek

When someone retires from a career in education the first thing they do is relax, maybe go on vacation, right? Not in Steve Kaczmarek’s case.
Kaczmarek was named head coach for Guilford’s women’s swimming team. The team’s inaugural season begins this fall, along with first seasons for men’s and women’s cross-country.
Steve took the Guilford opening because he is moving from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Greensboro in June. He was interested in the job because he wanted to coach college athletes and live in North Carolina. He is taking the job on part-time basis.
“I was moving to Greensboro after my retirement from Texas Public Schools in June and my fiance, who is living in Greensboro, saw the position advertised and it was like a dream come true,” said Kaczmarek.
Before Kaczmarek landed the job, Athletic Director Marion Kirby interviewed many candidates.
“We had interviews for the opening for over six months; then we heard from Steve. It seems like a perfect fit, he already has a house in Greensboro on Fleming Road,” Kirby said.
The new coach was a competitive swimmer in college and competed as a master swimmer until 1982 when he ended his swimming career in Canton, Ohio, at the Master Nationals.
According to Randy Doss, Kaczmarek brings many years of experience to Guilford. The Texas Tech alum has 31 years of aquatics coaching and administration experience, which will be helpful in getting the program off the ground.
The challenges facing Kaczmarek are numerous. The biggest may be competing with area schools, particularly scholarship-giving Division I schools. He has been scouring the state of Texas for talent, and plans on being in Raleigh for the North Carolina state championships on Feb. 14.
“The easy part of the new program is getting students interested in Guilford College. I think Guilford sells itself as a college. [Guilford] is a beautiful private school in the great state of North Carolina, but identifying potential students for Guilford College who have an interest in continuing swimming is somewhat of a challenge. Many student-athletes feel they would prefer to attend and compete for a Division I school,” Kaczmarek said.
The main reason for Guilford having a swimming team is there is a pool in Ragan-Brown, but no one uses it now that the YMCA is gone.
“When I got here, no one was using the pool. I thought, ‘We have a pool, why not use it?’ We didn’t want to fill the pool up with dirt and forget about it,” Kirby said.
Kaczmarek’s enthusiasm for swimming is evident, as is his love of North Carolina, which should bode well for the program.
“I have never lived in North Carolina but have been planning to move to Greensboro for the past two years. I plan to live there until my dying days, I love North Carolina and feel it is the best place on earth to live.