Story courtesy of McMurry University Sports Information
ABILENE, Texas - The proverbial apple will not fall far from the tree when it comes to taking the reins of the McMurry University swim program, as Casey Pacheco has been named as the War Hawks' new head coach. The program's only previous head coach - Bev Ball - announced her retirement on Tuesday.
"We are delighted to have Casey join the McMurry family," McMurry Director of Athletics Sam Ferguson said. "He brings a wealth of coaching expertise, a broad recruiting network, and strong Christian values to our program. Casey has learned from the best, as he has been coached and mentored by Bev Ball. He has what it takes to provide a life-changing scholar-athlete experience, while also developing champions for life. Casey will be a great asset to our program and our department."
Pacheco – who earned his bachelor of science degree (multidisciplinary studies) from McMurry in 2004 - comes to back to the Maroon & White after most recently serving as the head swim coach for both Abilene and Cooper high schools. Pacheco will assume his new duties with the War Hawks on June 1, 2017.
Pacheco has a long association with Bev Ball, swimming for her as both a prep and in college. Ironically, as a senior at Abilene High School in 1999, Pacheco sat in a meeting where Ball announced she was retiring from AHS. Then, just a few months later, he turned out to be McMurry's – and Bev Ball's – first-ever recruit to the University's start-up swim program for the fall of 1999.
Pacheco was McMurry's first four-year letterwinner in swimming. He was also a four-year team captain for McM, as well.
In addition to his coaching duties, Pacheco has also served as a physical education teacher for Abilene ISD (2010-present). Pacheco spent four years (2006-10) as the swim coach and taught geometry at Granbury High School. Concurrently, he was an age group coach for the Fort Worth Area Swim Team (2006-09). Prior to that, Pacheco coached and taught at Big Spring High School (2004-05).
As for his own career in the pool, Pacheco led McMurry to conference championships in both 2002 and 2003 (the only league titles in school history). He was also McM's male "Swimmer of the Year" as a freshman. At AHS, Pacheco was a four-year district finalist and regional qualifier.
"I am excited about returning to McMurry as the head coach and even more so that Coach Ball has agreed to stay on and continue to be involved and work with our program," Pacheco said. "Coach Ball has always been the reason I wanted to become a coach. She first made an impact on me as a freshman in high school. Her passion for swimming and for her students continues to inspire my own student-athletes on the high school level to this day. Swimming for Coach Ball for eight consecutive years and her guidance continue to impact me, shaping me into the person I am today.
"The relationships built through my college experiences with faculty and staff are what make (McMurry) so special. The beliefs that were instilled in me as an athlete at McMurry have helped me succeed as a coach today. My professors at McMurry guided me to become a successful teacher and coach. The faculty and staff at McMurry have also made a huge impact on my career and I've worked with many of the staff members since my return to Abilene.
"I have been fortunate to become friends with many past alumni and swimmers from various seasons after my time at McMurry. One trait that we all share is the family atmosphere Coach Ball instilled in all of us. I look forward to keeping the traditions of the McMurry swim program and expanding our family to future scholar-athletes."
Pacheco has been a member of the Texas Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association since 2004. He and his wife Jennifer reside in Abilene and have two children: son Tiegan and daughter Kanon.