With longtime swimming and diving coach Doug Nieman set to retire, North Gwinnett officials announced a head coaching change Monday.
The Bulldogs hired current Collins Hill coach Paul Callis to lead their program and fill the void left by Nieman, who was a swimming and diving coach at the high school for 13 years.
“I want to thank Coach Nieman for his time as the head swim and dive coach at North Gwinnett,” North Gwinnett athletic and activities director Matt Champitto said. “He has helped build a great program and is leaving it in unbelievable shape for the future. I’m extremely excited to have Coach Callis on board as he’s one of the most successful swim coaches around.
“I’ve known Coach Callis since our days at Shiloh High School and I’m looking forward to him taking our program to the next level.”
Callis has decades of experience as a Gwinnett County high school coach, including an 18-year tenure as head coach at Shiloh, where Champitto was a baseball coach before going into administration.
Shiloh reached the state meet every year under Callis, finishing in the state’s top 10 seven times. He was named Gwinnett’s coach of the year in both 1998 and 2001.
Since the 2013-14 season, Callis has coached at Collins Hill with the Eagles’ longtime head coach, Jenny Weaver. In addition to joining one of the state’s top programs, the move also allowed him to coach his children at Collins Hill.
Callis was a state champion and All-American swimmer at Westerfield (Conn.) High School in 1987. He was a four-year letterman at the University of Tennessee and a member of the 1989 SEC championship team.
He takes over a North program that has been one of the state’s best during Nieman’s tenure. Both the North boys and girls were fifth at this year’s state championship meet, and the Bulldogs were second (girls) and third (boys) at the county meet.