Swimming: Black, Bernstein picked to head LAHS program

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By Mike Cote

Los Alamos High School announced just before noon today the hiring of a pair of interim coaches to lead the Hilltopper boys and girls swim teams for the upcoming 2008-09 season.

Cindy Black and Rusty Bernstein will take over the head coaching duties vacated by Bev Leasure earlier this year.

Black and Bernstein didn’t actually apply for the position as a unit, but after meeting with the interview panels and with the two applicants themselves, school officials decided the co-head coaching job would be the best situation.

“It was what the kids wanted and it was what the adult committee wanted,” Los Alamos High School athletic director Vicki Nelms said. “With the combination of both of them, we were getting what both the adults and the students wanted.”

Bernstein is currently the head coach of the Los Alamos Aquatomics, while Cindy Black was an assistant coach with the high school squad.

The two accepted the position together this morning.

Nelms said the two bring together good blending skills, with one having the years of coaching experience and the other being a good communicator and motivator.

Leasure left the post in early May, citing among her reasons for leaving that she was constantly under fire from the local club swimming community. She said when she left it was time to “give someone else a chance to try to make everyone happy.”

Los Alamos is currently scheduled to start its season Nov. 22 at Albuquerque Academy’s Barney Relays, although Nelms said the 2008-09 schedule had not yet been finalized.