Jim Callahan has resigned as coach of both the Thomas Worthington and Worthington Kilbourne high school swimming and diving programs.

He guided the Cardinals boys and girls teams for 36 seasons and also coached the Kilbourne boys and girls teams the last 26 seasons.

“It was obviously a tough decision, but I felt this was the right time to do it based on my retirement from teaching physical education at Brookside Elementary,” Callahan said. “I will miss being around the kids in the elementary school and coaching the ones in high school. It’s all of the relationships that you build that make teaching and coaching so enjoyable. It’s why you get to swim practice at 5:30 a.m. and leave a school building after 6 p.m., depending on what day it is.

“But I’ve been blessed to work in a great school system at Worthington and I’ve had tremendous parental support and a bunch of great assistant coaches through the years.”

Kilbourne athletics director Jeff Todd and Thomas AD Jen Goebbel are looking at hiring one coach to oversee both programs.

“The plan is to keep it as one head coach for both programs, but to be honest, we are trying to wrap up school and graduation before we really have much discussion about anything,” Todd said.

Callahan’s teams combined to win 24 league titles, with Thomas winning 11 and Kilbourne 13, as well as six district titles. In addition, he coached 110 athletes who All-American honors.

“It’s been a great experience, but my kids are grown and I have a couple of grandchildren now,” Callahan said. “I need to spend more time with my wife, children and grandchildren and start this new phase of my life.”

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek