TenEyck leads area divers to state supremacyWritten by Scott Calhoun | | email@example.com
When Scott TenEyck was an Oregon Clay High School student in the early 1980s, he became the Eagles’ first high school diver.
Despite bearing brave wings, TenEyck admits he was not overly successful competing in the sport.
“I was an average diver,” he said. “My best finish was fourth in the district meet my senior year.”
In his 11th year as head coach for the diving teams at Saint Francis de Sales and Saint Ursula Academy, TenEyck has proven to be an all-out champion.
His 20 state qualifiers, four district champions, three state titles and 10 high school All-Americans exhibit overwhelming evidence.
He primarily coaches the Knights and the Arrows, but TenEyck’s area legend has grown so popular, he has overseen divers from as far away as Tiffin due to his track record.
Divers from a list of schools that includes Tiffin Columbian, Wauseon and Central Catholic, Lake, Anthony Wayne and others have found consistent success under TenEyck.
He advanced three local divers to the 2008 Ohio State Swimming and Diving Championships at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton Feb. 21.
Sophomore Erika Walsh took 18th representing St. Ursula in one-meter diving, junior Alex Jessop 20th as a Knight and senior Lydia Boss 23rd as Anthony Wayne’s first and only diver at states.
None of the three added to TenEyck’s accolade portfolio of placing his divers high at states, but Boss and Jessop were first-time qualifiers, and Walsh, in her fourth year of competitive diving, went to her second state meet as a developing prodigy.
“I was thrilled with the performances by all three of them,” TenEyck said. “For Lydia and Alex, it was their first time at states, and it can be really intimidating because of the quality of diving that goes on there.”
Despite his average high school career, he initially had received a scholarship to dive at UT under coach Jim Wohl in spring 1985, but halfway through his first year, his opportunity was pulled from underneath him.
Wohl left at the beginning of the school year, and a new coach took over, asking TenEyck to switch to swimming midway through his freshman season. When TenEyck refused, his scholarship was rescinded.
After that happened, TenEyck adjusted his desire for mental conditioning to the services provided by the U.S. Army, joining in 1985 and serving as a reservist while earning an elementary education degree at UT, before serving active duty overseas in Korea from 1990 until 1994.
“In fact, the day I came off active duty was the day [the United States] were invading Kuwait (Aug. 2, 1990),” TenEyck said.
During the period abroad, Brittany and his second of four daughters, Jessica, were born in Lucas County.
“I watched my two oldest daughters grow up on videotape,” TenEyck said.
Although spending the first year and a half away from Brittany’s initial growth, TenEyck more than made up for his mandatory absence by becoming not just a father, but the same winning coach to propel her to two consecutive D-I state diving titles (2006 and 2007) and a full scholarship to continue making her splash at UT.
“I probably wouldn’t have gotten into the sport if it wasn’t for my dad,” Brittany TenEyck said. “He’s the reason I started, and he’s the reason I won’t stop.
“He would work with me as a coach and as a father. He was excited and happy that I was [a four-time state qualifier], but he also knew how to put me in the right state of mind and knew what to say to me to get me ready.”
While Brittany won back-to-back state championships on the women’s side, TenEyck’s only male pupil to win it all was Andy Seibenick of St. Francis back in 2001. In 1999, Scott Koenig finished runner-up for the state champion Knights.
Despite his broken diving career, TenEyck began coaching the sport at Sylvania Southview in 1994, where he remained on board for three years before taking the dual gig for the Knights and Arrows.
“It’s a sport I’ve always loved,” he said. “It’s a thrill-seeker and confidence-booster sport.”
He’s sent a diver to the state meet in all but one of his 14 seasons coaching.
“I work my kids through the fear of taking that new dive,” TenEyck said. “It’s just an awesome experience to watch a kid mature, and not all kids do. They run away and decide it’s not a sport they want to do.”
“He has a really good relationship with his athletes,” Walsh said. “He knows how to have practice be serious and fun at the same time. He knows how to explain things.”
TenEyck’s youngest daughter, Samantha, is also a diver in eighth grade and hopes to represent Lake in the sport under the mentorship of her father when she enters high school in the fall.
But Lake has had financial issues in the school district recently, and there is a chance that even with the proper filing of paperwork to get permission to represent the Lady Flyers as a diver under TenEyck’s wing, that Samantha won’t get approval from Lake’s side of things.
“We’re hoping that we can convince them to let her dive,” TenEyck said, “because she wants to go to high school there, and it would be a shame if she couldn’t dive for Lake.”
It would certainly be a shame, because TenEyck has proven that he is a winning coach, and his best results came from another Lady Flyer in Brittany.
“He’s a great motivator,” she said.
“I’ve seen a lot of other coaches, and I don’t think that they have what he has,” Walsh said. “Not only is he such a great coach, he’s fun to work with. He’s the best coach in the area.”