Longtime Cedar swim coach Coston honored for 40-year career

Cedar High Principal John Dodds presents a plaque to longtime swim coach Dick Coston, in appreciation of his 40-year career, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 28, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Longtime Cedar City swim coach Dick Coston was recently honored for his illustrious career spanning four decades.

Coston was recognized during halftime of the Cedar High vs. Hurricane football game Sept. 28. Following an introduction that outlined his accomplishments as a coach, he was presented with a commemorative plaque and gift basket by Cedar High Principal John Dodds.

Cedar High Principal John Dodds presents a plaque to longtime swim coach Dick Coston, in appreciation of his 40-year career, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 28, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

The plaque’s inscription honored Coston as a member of Cedar High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Following Coston’s introduction at the halftime presentation, dozens of Coston’s swimmers, past and present, came onto the track to give the coach well-wishes and exchange handshakes and hugs.

Although Coston is retiring from coaching Cedar High’s team, he still continues to work with younger swimmers in the Cedar City Recreation’s age-group program at the Cedar City Aquatic Center. He can be seen there at poolside most afternoons, encouraging his swimmers in their daily workouts.

Coston, a native of New York, attended Brigham Young University, where he married a BYU swimmer, thus beginning his own interest in the sport.

Coston’s first teaching and coaching job was at Long Beach Swim Club in California, where he worked under the noted Dick Jochums, Long Beach State’s head coach, who coached numerous Olympic swimmers. It was then Coston said he developed a passion and enthusiasm for the sport.  

Cedar swimmers past and present line up to congratulate and thank longtime swim coach Dick Coston, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 28, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Coston moved to Cedar City in 1978, where he became the swimming pool manager and swim coach for Iron County School District. Building a program from the ground up, he started with swim lessons and a small recreation swim club. In 1981, Cedar High got its first swim teams, with Coston at the helm.

Since then, Coston has helped coach Cedar High to a combined total of 14 state titles and 30 region championships. The Redmen boys took state in 1990-91, 1992 and 1994-99, while the Lady Reds won the state title in 1992, 1994-95, 2000 and 2001.

In addition, Coston was named coach of the year at the state meet a total of 10 times, six times for the boys and four for the girls, most recently in 2016.

“Coach Coston was a special coach,” said Leah Brown, who read Coston’s biographical information over the loudspeaker at the game. She continued:

He could talk tough and insist on dedication but he was very kind and understanding. He taught thousands and thousands of children to swim. In his coaching he taught that even if you didn’t win a state championship, you learned self-discipline and self-confidence in the process. Swimmers learned to do hard things and to not give up when it got hard or painful, a lifetime lesson that many Cedar High swimmers have benefited from throughout their lives.

Succeeding Coston as Cedar High’s swim coaches for the upcoming year are Colby Clark for the boys and Megan Moses for the girls. Practices have already started, with the team’s first preseason meet scheduled for Nov. 2 at the Sand Hollow Aquatic Center in St. George.

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Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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