SOUTHINGTON - Southington swimming and diving head coach Evan Tuttle describes himself as â€śjust the guy who stands on the pool deck who barks out some orders and designs sets,â€ť yet during the All-State banquet last week, he was named Coach of the Year.
â€śIt was a surprise and it was a very humbling experience,â€ť Tuttle said. â€śWe were recognizing Tyler Heidgerd for his success and his third place finish at the Class LL state meet, and next thing you know Iâ€™m receiving the State Swimming Coach of the Year award as well.â€ť
Tuttle has been the head coach of the boys swim program at Southington High for the past eight seasons and has compiled a 61-24-1 record.
For the last six years, Tuttle has also been in charge of girls program, which holds a 48-17-1 record.
â€śFor the past few weeks Iâ€™ve had parents, current athletes, former athletes, coaches and friends calling to congratulate me and itâ€™s been very surreal,â€ť Tuttle said. â€śBut as Iâ€™ve tried to tell everyone, all that praise is a little misplaced.â€ť
Overjoyed with excitement, Tuttle give credit where credit is deserved.
â€śItâ€™s not really me thatâ€™s been the reason that our program has become successful,â€ť he said. â€śItâ€™s really the athletes and the caliber of the students that we get out for the swim and dive team.â€ť
Tuttle never expected to receive the Coach of the Year award and said it was a complete shock to him.
â€śIt was not something that I had thought about,â€ť Tuttle said. â€śI wasnâ€™t made aware of it, I wasnâ€™t told ahead of time, so it was very much a surprise. The experience was very overwhelming and of course I am extremely grateful to be honored and recognized by my peers.â€ť
This yearâ€™s Southington boys swimming and diving team went 7-4 in the dual meet season, captured the CCC West championship meet and then placed eighth at the Class LL state meet.
In the girls season, the Blue Knights went 8-2 in dual meets and also won the CCC West championship. Southington finished its season placing 12th in Class LL, all while breaking five school records.
â€śAs a coach I am truly sensable of how fortunate I am to have, in my opinion, the best that our schools, that our communities have to offer, that pursue swimming and diving as their sport,â€ť Tuttle said. â€śIt makes my job not only enjoyable and rewarding, but in a sense easy as well. The kids are there, they want to work and theyâ€™re the true reason why the program has been so successful in the past few seasons.â€ť
The 31-year-old coach grew up in Enfield but now lives in Southington. Besides coaching, Tuttle is also social studies teacher at Southington High School and has been for the past decade.
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860)801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org