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New girls’ swim coach gets ready to dive in

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Spartan logo plus MSHSL logoGillian McNeal has been hired as the new head coach for the Orono High School girls’ swim and dive team.

“Gil will bring experience, knowledge and passion to our program,” said Bucky Mieras, OHS activities director. “She has great experience as a high school coach and summer club coach, plus she already knows many of our students and their families.

“Gil embraces the student-first philosophy that aligns with our district expectations and the coaching principles instilled through the Minnesota State High School League Why We Play initiative,” he added. “I look forward to watching Gil grow our program with the wonderful students who are participating.”

A language arts teacher at Hopkins West Junior High, McNeal also serves as the assistant swim coach for the boys’ team in Hopkins. In addition, she has been the head coach for the swim team and pool director at Wayzata Country Club since 2004. From 2004 to 2010, she coached the Minnetonka High School girls’ swim team as both an assistant and head coach and worked with both the varsity and junior varsity teams.

McNeal holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a theater minor from Gustavus Adolphus College and a master’s degree in education from the University of St. Thomas.

“We had conversations with several potential candidates for this position,” said Director of Human Resources Dr. Scott Alger, “and ultimately found Gillean McNeal to be the perfect person to develop this great program while optimizing student’s opportunities for individual success.”

The high school and district are continuing to move forward on filling the head coaching vacancies of the boys’ swim and dive program and the Metro Marlins swim team operated through Community Education.