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Carmel swimming’s Chris Plumb on coaching at the Olympics: ‘It’s what you live for’

Chris Plumb on coaching at the Olympics: ‘It’s what you live for’

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — USA Swimming head coach Anthony Nesty called over Chris Plumb on the second Saturday morning during the Team USA Swimming Trials in Indianapolis.

Plumb, the Carmel High School and Carmel Swim Club head coach, had gotten his second swimmer to qualify for the Olympics just two days before.

He thought he knew what the conversation was going to be about. Once he got a second Olympian to qualify, he thought he had a good shot at being named an assistant coach. Nesty said that they would love to have Plumb on staff for the Olympic team this year. Nesty also told Plumb to talk to his wife and get back to him.

Plumb’s response was pretty simple.

“Anthony, I don’t need to ask my wife,” Plumb said. “I’m going.”

Plumb will travel to Paris this month, with his wife as well, to be an assistant coach for the USA Swimming team. He will also get to coach three swimmers from Carmel in the Olympics: Aaron Shackell, Alex Shackell, and Drew Kibler.

Becoming an Olympic coach is something Plumb has worked for his entire life.

“It’s what you live for,” Plumb said. “It’s what you coach for. It’s something you dream about.”

Plumb was introduced as an assistant coach with the rest of the USA Swimming team at the end of the trials.

“When I was able to walk out with the team and recognized as a coach, it was surreal,” Plumb said. “I’m like, ‘What am I doing here? This doesn’t feel normal. This doesn’t feel right.’”

The feeling is now starting to sink in. It especially did when he got his Olympic gear to wear. He’s been with Team USA for other events, but the Olympics are special.

And even though the Olympics are special, he’s trying to keep the swimmers’ mindsets off the grandiose stage. He said it’s like the movie Hoosiers. The dimensions of the pool are still the exact same, whether it’s in Carmel High School or the pool they will swim for a gold medal at in Paris.

Plumb was named the head coach of Carmel Swim Club in 2006. Carmel’s girls’ swimming team has won the state title every year he has been the head coach. The boys’ team has won 10 consecutive state titles.

“To be able to go represent Carmel, it’s great because we’re representing everybody in our community, which is special,” Plumb said.

Swimming events in the Olympics start on Saturday, July 27th and run through Sunday, August 4th.