Paul Bachman steps down as swimming coach at John Marshall after 37 years

Aug. 29—ROCHESTER — Coaching has been a family tradition for Paul Bachman, but he figures his tenure at John Marshall has lasted long enough.

Bachman has been the boys swimming and diving coach at John Marshall for the past 37 years and he has been the girls swimming coach for the last 23 years. But starting with the 2023-24 school year, he has stepped down as the head coach of the Rockets.

Bachman, 65, just celebrated his 40th anniversary with his wife, Lori. They hope to travel and spend more together.

"I thought it was time to get some new younger coaches in here," he said.

Bachman has returned to part-time teaching at Lourdes and he also spends time watching his grandchildren.

He started coaching the JM boys in 1986. A swimmer on one of his earlier boys teams had a daughter that Bachman coached a couple of years ago.

"I had two generations of swimmers from that family," Bachman said. "That's when you know that you've almost been there too long."

Bachman's father, Jack, was a swimming coach for more than 40 years. That included coaching at Macalester College from 1967 to 1989. Paul swam in college at Macalester and was All-MIAC for four straight years before graduating in 1981.

Lauren Kalwasinski, a former swimmer at John Marshall and a 2012 grad, will take over as the head coach at JM. The Rockets begin their season in early September.

"I knew she'd be a good fit," Bachman said.

Kalwasinski was part of a run that saw the Rockets win more than 60 consecutive regular-season dual meets from 2008 to 2012.

"I don't care about win-loss records," Bachman said. "You want to produce good people who know how to do things right. And that was a good bunch of girls back then, too."

Bachman said producing individual state champions in both girls and boys swimming was a highlight. Jenny Shaughnessy was a five-time individual state champion and was named the 2004-2005 Female Swimmer of the Year by the Minnesota State High School League.

Bachman's son, Kendrick, was a state champion in both the 100 butterfly and the 100 breaststroke in 2009 as a senior. He set the state record in the 100 breaststroke. Eric Jorgensen won both the 50 and 100 freestyle state titles in 1990.

"It's always good to have coached your own kid to two state championships," Bachman said.

"Everybody else (in Rochester) has been lucky to have one state champion and I've had a lot of state champions," he added. "I've had a lot of good kids."

Kendrick Bachman is also a coach. He is an assistant for the JM girls team and he could be named the head coach for the boys during the winter sports season.

Paul Bachman said he will help out Kalwasinski this fall on a volunteer basis. He plans on being the assistant coach for the JM boys in the winter, if the Rockets have enough swimmers for a team. Just nine swimmers were expected to return from a year ago.

"They've got to get the numbers up," Bachman said.

John Marshall has had dwindling numbers in swimming in recent years, far fewer than what the Century and Mayo programs have had.

"That's one of the contributing factors for leaving," Bachman said. "Century has four or five times as many girls, Mayo has three to four times as many girls. You're stuck with what you have and there's nothing you can do about it.

"That's the boundaries that Rochester Public Schools gave us," he added. "You kind of have to make do with what they give us."

Bachman said he will miss the interaction with the swimmers however. And he admits that was why he remained in coaching for so many years.

"I just have a lot of great memories of all the kids," he said.

Guy N. Limbeck is a sports writer for the Post Bulletin. His Local Notebook appears each Tuesday. He can be reached at