Diving coach steps down
For 26 years, Cary Lehman has been a fixture on the local high school diving scene as a coach, including the last 19 seasons with Parkland. That all came to an end with the conclusion of the PIAA Diving Championships at Bucknell University last Thursday when Lehman announced he would be retiring from coaching.
After starting his career with a seven-year stint at William Allen, Lehmann took the job at Parkland and has led the team to be the most decorated diving program in the Lehigh Valley. This season alone, four of the top five boys divers and three of the top five among girls divers at the District 11 Championship were athletes that Lehman coached. Lehman’s daughter, Lexi Lehman, who is a senior, celebrated her third district diving championship this year. The only interruption to her run was when teammate Alexa Brinker won in 2018.
“I’m really excited,” said Lexi Lehman when asked about her dad’s retirement. “It’s been great to have him as my coach and now he’s going to be able to watch me and my brother and my sister as we compete in college. I’m really happy about that.”
Lexi has a twin sister, Sydney, who has taken up wrestling at Parkland High School and will continue grappling in college at Bloomsburg University. Older brother Chris made his mark on the Parkland diving program and is now attending Shippensburg University. Lexi will head to James Madison University where she will continue her diving career.
“It’s been 26 years and that’s enough,” said coach Lehman. “I’ve spent a lot of time working with my kids and other people’s kids and now I’m going to spend some time just watching my kids and following them.”
Parkland divers have long dominated the local scene with top finishes in East Penn Conference events and several top finishes at District 11 events. In states, Parkland divers have also competed well, with Ethan Radio taking a fourth-place medal last week at the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships at Bucknell University. Lexi Lehman and teammate Alexa Brinker finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Lehman finished as high as fifth in the state diving championship during her high school career and competed at states in all four of her high school years, as did teammate Alexa Brinker.
“I’ve enjoyed my time coaching and I have worked with a lot of great kids,” said Lehman. “It’s time to just spend more time watching my kids now and supporting their activities.”