LHHS' new swim coach is welcomed by captains Peyton Slater and Brice Paterik.

Kyle Horne admits he’s “super-competitive.” As the new swim coach at Lake Highlands High School, Horne expects a “wide range of talent and skill levels,” but his goal is for every swimmer “to move in the right direction and get faster.”

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Horne, who accepted the job just two weeks ago, has already met with captains Peyton Slater and Brice Paterik and been impressed by Lake Highlands’ community support. “I think the type of kids that go to LH are the reason we can be really good,” Horne told me. “We have some beginners and some that have a chance to go all the way to state. I understand the team’s potential to be a dual-meet threat.”

Horne, who’s been coaching since he was 19, most recently led the team at Cypress Ridge in Houston. “Every action I take as a coach is to make them better, to bring honor to the team,” said Horne. “That’s important to me as a coach. I am competitive, but I don’t do this for fun. I take it seriously. I want to get them as good as they can be.”

Married four years with a chocolate lab named Shelby, Horne enjoys running marathons & triathlons and finished the Ironman Lake Placid. He’s currently training for the Ironman U.S. Championship in New York City a year from now. “I identify with the kids and their struggles, their fatigues,” he said. “I want to be a coach they can look up to. I ask them to be tough but I don’t ask them to do anything I won’t do, and that gives me credibility.”

With a new coach comes a new level of excitement for students on the team. “My expectations are very high for the team this year,” said Brice. “Coach Horne brings a new coaching style with him and the team has great potential. Lake Highlands has an extremely rich athletics department and I love competing for the School of Champions, but not enough people in the LH area are aware of our swim team or are even aware that one exists, and I think that is a problem we need to fix.”

Coach Horne says he expects the first week of school to be spent recruiting freshmen and new kids to the program. “We’re wanting to expand the numbers. Even if they aren’t expert swimmers, I can take a kid a long way toward being competitive. We’ll get serious about practice the second week of school.”

For his part, Brice knows what kind of leader he wants to be. “My role model is my brother, Bradley (now a sophomore at the University of Alabama). He would be the first to tell you he was never the fastest swimmer in the pool, but he had a work ethic in swimming like none I’ve ever seen. I hope to be a leader that can inspire my teammates to work their hardest to reach their potential, and also lead by example and show them what it means to work hard every single day to improve.”

Brice, add me to your list of inspirees.