Brent and Sarah Beauman have worked hard this year to support Danville athletics, stepping up to help coach the cross country and swimming teams when they most needed it.
Brent is Technology Resource Teacher at DHS. He coaches boys soccer for DHS and John W. Bate Middle School, is now assistant coach for swimming and has also coached tennis. Sarah is Library Media Specialist at Edna L. Toliver Intermediate School and became head coach for swimming and assistant coach for cross country and track this year. They also have two daughters in the district, Emilee and Lucy, who are in 9th and 7th grade, respectively.
This year when Sarah took her girls to cross country, she found out the team needed an assistant coach, so she and her friend Brooke Winderl, a teacher at Toliver, decided to co-coach together. It’s been much busier than anticipated, Sarah said, but it’s been fun.
Sarah is an Admiral through and through — she, her parents, aunts and uncles and brother all graduated from Danville High School.
“We are Admirals,” she said. “That’s just who we are.”
She has swam her whole life and, when she first started teaching, she became the assistant coach of the swim team for a bit. She’s taught for Danville Independent Schools for 19 years.
This year, the swim team was left without a head coach, and she stepped up to the plate. Her kids wanted to swim, so it was a good time to do it. She encouraged Brent to become the assistant coach, she said.
Since Brent has been coaching for about 21 years, even before he and Sarah met, he’s been helpful in building a team mindset, Sarah said. Interest in the swim team has grown significantly this year, with almost 30 students on the team at one point.
Sarah said taking the head coach position has been a learning curve, but she had experienced swimmers, experienced parents, and Athletic Director Lisa Fisher to help her out.
“We had a successful season and had some kids go to state, and I think everyone had fun,” she said. “That was the goal.”
She said she knew many of the students and families going into the position, and she and Brent haven’t experienced any behavior issues from them.
“That’s just Danville sports,” she said. “It just seems like everyone is working together, the parents are pitching in. It’s just a community.”
Brent said juggling all the positions he and Sarah hold is sometimes difficult but very rewarding.
“We’re very loyal people,” he said.
One thing he loves about Danville athletics is that many students are involved in multiple sports, so there’s a lot of overlap on teams and opportunities for students to participate. There are high-level athletes helping teach lower-level athletes too, and it’s a great environment for students to work together and bond.
“The kids love being on the teams and love being a part of something, and I think that’s really big in today’s world,” Brent said. “I think we get very self-centered at times, so when you have to work for another person, work for something together, it means more and you take pride in it, and of course that’s hopefully what you’ll end up doing as an adult for jobs and families, so there’s so much that can be taught through these simple games that kids play.”
When it comes to how they work together as coaches, Brent said for him and Sarah, it’s similar to how they parent, and it’s also been great having their daughters on the swim team.
“Everything that we’ve gone through the past five years has made us more resilient,” he said. “We don’t sweat the small stuff, and we’re a close family. It goes back to communication and being willing to work.”
Brent’s favorite part of coaching for Danville is there’s great tradition and an expectation to win without sacrificing respect, and the schools are supportive.
“You have that desire to win,” he said. “You have that commitment. You have that support. But at the same time, you have a lot of really good kids and families that understand yes, we want to win, but there’s a bigger picture here, and we want to develop good people and be respectful, so we’re going to go out and play hard and play to win, but we’re not going to let that affect how we act."
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