New coach knows progress Penn Hills swim team could make

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Sunday, November 20, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Taking over as the Penn Hills varsity swimming coach is a fun challenge for Morgan Bush.

Bush, a 30-year-old Oakland Catholic graduate, has spent much of her post-college life coaching swimming for clubs and in the summer. One challenge she hasn’t tackled is leading a high school program.

After serving as a volunteer coach for the past two seasons, Bush was happy to take over the program this season.

“I know a lot of these kids from club and summer swim,” Bush said. “It’s nice to give back to the community. I wanted to step up because I’ve seen the progress these kids have made the past few seasons.”

Penn Hills will return several athletes who Bush expects to make major contributions. Lauren Sipple (breaststroke), Anthony Collins (50 free) and Luke Hoolahan (diving) will all be back. Hoolahan, who made WPIALs as a diver as a freshman, didn’t compete in the event last season.

“I told Luke last year that he should try swimming and see if he liked that better,” Bush said. “He’s going to have to work on finding the balance between swimming and diving. That means longer practices, and he will have to work hard to do both.”

Penn Hills didn’t have any WPIAL qualifiers last season. Making the postseason in the WPIAL has been difficult over the past few seasons due to time standards set due to covid-19 precautions.

Bush said she had 25 athletes come in for preseason meetings. Practices started for the team Nov. 18.

The Indians were placed in Section 3-3A in WPIAL realignment with Baldwin, Central Catholic, Fox Chapel, Gateway, Plum and Shaler.

Bush also served as an assistant coach at Gateway in years past.

“I’m excited to take over the program,” Bush said. “I expect 100% from everyone. I plan on giving 100%. We have a fun team and are a small program. It’s hard for us to compete with basketball, swimming and volleyball.”

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