When he was still in college, Doug Krecklow remembers what a professor told him about one of the toughest future decisions he'd have to make — when to call it a career.
“He told me the thing about changing jobs or deciding to retire is that there's never a perfect time,” Krecklow said. “You'll always feel you've left something behind, but you can drive yourself nuts thinking about it.
“Whether the perfect time is now or not, it's the perfect time for me.”
Krecklow, 60, has decided to retire and end his 34-year career with the Westside school district. While he is best known as the Westside swimming and diving coach who led the Warriors to 20 state titles — 11 boys, nine girls — District 66 administrators have to do more than replace a head coach.
Since 1987, Krecklow has served as chairman of Westside's Health and Physical Education department, taught many of the health and science courses in addition to aquatics classes and has served as the aquatics director for the school district.
He also runs the Swim Omaha club program, which has helped mold many swimmers from Westside and other schools into year-round participants in the sport.
“It's a Catch-22 because things you enjoy doing about what you do you don't want to leave behind,” Krecklow said. “You just have to decide what's best for you and your family and make that decision. It's reasonable for me to be done.”
Maybe not completely done.
There's a chance Krecklow could continue coaching the Warriors after the 2012-13 season. Longtime coaches at other schools, such as Lynn Weaver at Papillion-La Vista, have retired from teaching but been rehired to continue coaching.
Krecklow said that scenario remains a possibility.
“I've left that door open but that's not my decision to make,” Krecklow said. “In the next week or two I'll sit down with (Athletic Director) Tom Kerkman and people at central administration and talk about the job and how it should be looked at.”
If this is his final season, Krecklow said there are plenty of fond memories upon which he can reflect. There was that girls team state championship last season that pushed his career total to 20 as well as the teams from 1984 to '86 that won the boys and girls titles all three years.
“In 1986 we were able to pull that off with 11 guys,” Krecklow said. “We picked it right and ended up winning by three points. We got buried at Metro's by 80 or 90 points to Burke, but like Weaver (in 2003), we came back and did it at state.”
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