Brahim leads swimmers to success
The LaPorte Turbos swim club and Slicer’s boys’ swim team have a strong leader in Brahim Hakim.
This year will be Brahim’s fourth season as the head coach for the LaPorte Turbos swim club. Turbos is a non-profit club that offers opportunities to school aged swimmers for a wide range of interests.
Brahim has not always been coaching for Turbos or LaPorte. Before either of those teams, he used to coach for the Mako and the Michigan City Piranha’s swim team.
Brahim is also head coach of the LaPorte High School boys’ swim team. Ed Gilliland, athletic director at LaPorte, reached out to him after the high school was in need of an experienced swim coach, and Brahim gladly accepted the offer.
“Brahim is a great coach, not only because he pushes us hard, but he knows where our potential is,” Grant Olson, swimmer for Turbos and LaPorte, said.
Brahim hopes that both teams, Turbos and LaPorte, will believe in themselves and exceed expectations.
“I want my swimmers to know that they can do a lot more than they imagine, and once they believe in themselves, you’ll see amazing things out of them,” Brahim said.
Coaching two teams at the same time is time consuming, but Brahim manages to keep his busy schedule as normal as possible. Brahim was a chemist for 32 years at U.S. Steel, but retired in July, and he now has more time to coach. Brahim is running about 17 practices a week total: 11 for the high school and six for Turbos. Brahim is putting in an average of about 50 hours a week coaching on deck, along with all the external work.
For Brahim, coaching two teams is a challenge, especially during the months the two seasons run at the same time. Once the high school season is over, Brahim will be back to coaching just Turbos over the off season, averaging about 25 hours a week with them.
Brahim never swam in high school. In fact, he used to be on the football and track team. When he was in college, he was hit by a car, which ended his football and track career. The accident had led him into endurance swimming. This led to Brahim becoming a lifeguard and water safety instructor.
When Brahim had his children, he realized that they needed to learn how to swim, so he put them into swim programs and clubs. This led to him getting more involved in the coaching aspect, and he has been coaching ever since.
It was fate that led Brahim pool side, but LPHS is better for it.