Nancy Harms announced she is retiring as coach of the Sun Prairie girls swimming and diving team.
Harms, who has coached Sun Prairie for 19 years, informed her team and its family members and media Tuesday that this will be her final season as the Cardinals’ coach.
Harms’ team, led by junior Sophie Fiske, finished third at the WIAA Division 1 state girls swimming and diving championship in the fall, matching its highest state finish established in 2018.
Sun Prairie enjoyed a banner year, winning the Big Eight Conference meet and sectional titles for the first time while soaring during the season to a No. 1 state ranking in the coaches’ poll.
Harms also plans to step down as Aquatics facility manager at Sun Prairie High School.
In Harms’ message to her swimmers and the Cardinals’ swimming family, Harms wrote: “It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing that this very successful 2019 swim season is my last season as coach of the Sun Prairie Cardinal Women’s Swim and Dive team. I am also ‘re-retiring’ from my other passion as Aquatics Facility Manager at Sun Prairie High School. I certainly cannot say that this was an easy decision as I am quite passionate about coaching and our Sun Prairie swimming community.
“I feel privileged to have been a part of such a phenomenal community. Our swimming families in Sun Prairie are excellent people and the athletes and students that I have coached over the last 19 years are the best that any coach could ask for. Thank you to all of you for your support and kindness over the years.
“When I started coaching in Sun Prairie, our high school team consisted of 13 swimmers on a bus every day to Waterloo or (Madison) La Follette. These athletes were committed to their team! They were `the little team that could.’ We have grown to an amazing team of 60 committed athletes with a beautiful swimming facility. Every year we have had swimmers represent at the WIAA State swim meet and have moved up the ranks to the top in the Big 8 Conference. Because of you, Sun Prairie Swim and Dive has become known as a classy team – one that has fun and works hard and always shows respect toward other teams. I am very proud of our accomplishments, as you all should be, and I hold you all near to my heart.
“Thank you to all of the athletes, families, coaches, school staff, the Sun Prairie community and most importantly, my family for all of your support over the last 19 years.”
Harms plans to spend more time with her daughters, Danielle and Michaela, and their families, and her grandson László, as well as her sisters and parents. She also is planning to travel, including hoping to visit the Grand Canyon.