Coach K: “One of the Great Coaches in Williston’s Athletic History”


Swimming and Diving Coach David Koritkoski is at the peak of his powers.
To get the full scope of his success with Williston’s Swim program, it’s necessary to go back to when Koritkoski, most commonly referred to as Coach K around campus, even by students and faculty who are not involved in the swim program, was a kid growing up in Middletown, Conn.
He got his swimming start at a local YMCA as a six-year old, and, after a few practices, he recalled, he immediately fell in love with the sport. He continued swimming for the YMCA for multiple years and later went on to join his high school’s team.
He began to gain traction in his sophomore year as he became more dedicated to training and saw tremendous growth in all his events. In his junior and senior years, he stayed undefeated in all the individual events he competed in and graduated with five of eight individual event records.
After graduating high school, Coach K joined his older brother at The University of Massachusetts, Amherst (UMass), where he instantly made an impact on the Division I program. During his four years on the team, UMass only lost four dual meets and won three of four Atlantic 10 Conference meets.
Coach K joined Williston’s faculty in 1999 and quickly stepped into his role as a teacher as well as the Head Swim Coach. His true passion for swimming was evident as he grew the program into a place for aquatic athletes of all levels.
Coach K explained his love for coaching is not just because of the sport, but also the people who are involved.
“The best thing about coaching is that I get to universally coach great kids,” he said, noting that the team attracts between 40-50 participants each year. “I love being able to work with new kids every year.”
He also acknowledged the grittiness of the people the program brings in.
“It’s a really tough team sport that demands a lot of the individuals that participate,” he explained. “I give high school swimmers a lot of credit for doing something that isn’t as fun day to day. We spend a lot more time training than we do competing.”
Hayden Hedstrom, a two-year member of the team, commended Koritkoski for keeping the team positive even during the most challenging times of the season.
“Coach K always looks out for his swimmers throughout the season,” she said. “He wants us to be our best selves and will cheer us on through the hardest moments of the season.”
Michael Doubleday, who has been an Assistant Coach on the team with Koritkoski for 13 years, explained that Coach K’ s impact often goes unseen.
“He deserves to be recognized as one of the great coaches in Williston’s athletic program’s history,” Doubleday said. “He is also a great strategist and spends a significant amount of time planning the meet line up to give our teams the best chance of winning.”
Doubleday added, “We’ve had some great talent in our programs during his tenure as coach, but people don’t realize that a significant amount of the program’s success can be attributed to Coach K’s ability to put swimmers in the right races to score the points needed to win.”
Kate Garrity, a first-year member of the swim program’s coaching staff, echoed Doubleday’s views.
“Coach K’s knowledge of the sport, experience at the school, and leadership within the league is second to none, and I hope everyone knows how much time and energy he puts into this program,” she explained.
Since becoming the Head Coach of both the Boys and Girls teams, Coach K has led the program to seven New England titles. He coached the girl’s to a 34-0 dual meet record from Feb. 2017-Dec. 2022, and the boys to a 22-0 dual meet record from Dec. 2019-Feb. 2022.
Coach K has not only had an impact on the swim program at Williston but also the New England Prep School Swimming Association (NEPSSA). He is currently the President of NEPSSA, and spearheaded the movement to split the league into divisions in 2012.
This decision drastically changed the NEPSSA, as schools were no longer competing in one New England Championship but now three. This allowed schools with a smaller student population the opportunity to compete against schools in similar standings.
When this happened, Coach K recognized that Williston was put in the division that was perfect for the program.
“We are right where we belong for a school our size and skill,” he said. “Things are very competitive within our division and the team experiences an even flow of success.”
Looking forward to the Division II New England Championships, Coach K predicts the team will have a very successful end to their season.
“I would expect we will be competitive in the top three of Division II, but more than that, I would expect significant individual success with many of our swimmers earning All-NEPSAC honors,” he said. “We swam great at the Babcock Invitational and have had a good season of training to set up the end of the season.”
Update: The Boys Swim Team won its third consecutive Division II NEPSAC Championship on March 4.