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Well-known swimming coach takes over at Washington Golf

New leader has coached multiple teams and swimmers for many years

Add another top position and experience for a person who has long been one of the busiest and passionate year-round swimming coaches of all levels in Northern Virginia.

Evan Stiles will be the new head coach of the perennial champion Washington Golf & Country Club Lightning team in the top division of the summertime Country Club Swim & Dive Association. The Lightning have won nine straight league championships at the top division.

Stiles is well known on the swimming coaching circuit. He’s also the current longtime head swim coach of the year-round Arlington Aquatic Club program, in addition to being the current high-school head coach of the wintertime’s St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School private-school girls and boys teams in Alexandria, a position he has held for nine seasons.

Previously, Stiles was Bishop O’Connell High School’s head coach for 22 years. As for outside summertime coaching positions, he is a former head and assistant coach for the Donaldson Run team of Arlington, was the same for the Mount Vernon Yacht Club squad of the Dominion Country Club League, and for the past 21 summers, Stiles was the head coach of the Dowden Terrace Dolphins of the Northern Virginia Swimming League (NVSL).

He led Dowden Terrace to seven division titles in the NVSL, the last at Division 2 in 2019 with a 5-0 record.

He is making theswitch from Dowden Terrace to Washington Golf to take on a new challenge and “Try something different,” he said.

Plus, the Country Club Swim & Dive Association holds regular-season meets on weeknights, opposed to the NVSL’s Saturday morning schedule.

“I can’t remember the last time I had a Saturday off during the summer,” Stiles said. “I look forward to that.”

Stiles will coach a number of swimmers and knows their families at Washington Golf that he is familiar with from Arlington Aquatic Club, where he has coached Yorktown High School graduate and U.S. Olympic swimmer Torri Huske.

“It was hard leaving my old team [Dowden Terrace] after all of those years. But already knowing so many swimmers and families at Washington Golf should make for a good transition,” Stiles said.

Stiles replaces Ryan Baker as head coach. Baker has moved on to other swim coaching responsibilities, but will continue to help with the team to some degree.

Baker’s mother, Beth Baker, also will coach for Washington Golf this summer as an assistant. She is the former head coach of O’Connell and Overlee of the NVSL.

She knows Stiles well, who used to coach her son, Ryan.

“I have known Evan for years and it will be fun to coach with him,” Beth Baker said.

Stiles graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1987, where he was a standout swimmer, winning multiple Gunston District individual championships during his time at the Fairfax County school.

He did his summer swimming for Mansion House of the NVSL.

“My passion for coaching and working with young swimmers has gotten stronger over the years as I have learned  more about coaching and have become a better coach,” Stiles said.

The summer swimming season begins in June.