Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Paul Crandell, who founded Flyers Swim Club, to retire from coaching

By Ben Westcott, Chronicle Staff Writer

Paul Crandell coached for 44 years. Chronicle photo/Ben Westcott
Paul Crandell, a State Trooper who founded the Greater Glens Falls Flyers Swim Club in 1991, will retire from swim coaching when this season ends.

“It’s been 44 years,” Mr. Crandell told The Chronicle. “I look back and I say I don’t know how I did it with a full-time job [as a trooper for 20 years, retiring in 1998]. My wife and I want to start checking off the bucket list while we still can.”

The Flyers Swim Club is a non-profit that teaches competitive swimming skills to area children ages 6-18.

Besides being founder and president of the Flyers, Mr. Crandell, 68, was the head varsity coach of Queensbury High School’s girls swim team from 1984 to 2004.

Right after moving to the area in 1980, his first head coaching position was at the Glens Falls YMCA. He also started a new team at the Glens Falls Country Club and was the pool director at the Glens Falls Tennis & Swim Club.

Mike Anderson, Queensbury High’s girls swimming coach. will take over from Mr. Crandell to head the Flyers. He was a Flyer himself growing up.

“He was a true mentor for me, almost a fatherly figure,” Mr. Anderson said. “I respected him immensely and I know he appreciated me as an athlete. He was firm but understanding, and clearly a master of the content of the sport. I always trusted Paul, no matter what he had to say in regard to what I was doing or how I was doing it. I always believed that he was steering me in the right direction.”

Mr. Anderson added, “There’s no chance that I am where I am today in the sport without his guidance from the time I was a kid until now.”

Dan Demeter helped Mr. Crandell start the Flyers Swim Club and is the former aquatics director at Queensbury Schools.

He said Mr. Crandell “was very, very good when it came to teaching basics to little kids. The kids loved him.

“And I really liked his progression that he used in the four competitive strokes. It carried all the way through their middle school and high school years.

“When a boy or girl came out for modified or varsity swimming, I could always tell whether or not they came up through the Flyers. If I saw somebody and their strokes were almost perfect, I knew they’d come up through the Flyers program, because he was very technical and thorough at that age level.”

Mr. Anderson said, “Paul has had a hand in so many young lives over these years. I can only imagine how limited the swimming scene would be in this region, especially in the Glens Falls general area, without his knowledge and expertise and patience and all of the things he did for all of those kids.”

Copyright © 2024 Lone Oak Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved

Check Also

Next at former Sutton’s

By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor After two years of repairs and renovation, Mario DiSiena …