Mary Doerder in her 40th year as Bettendorf diving coach

High School Sports

When you think of Bettendorf diving one name comes to mind.

“Mary, plan and simple. She’s had state qualifiers and podium girls for decades, but they wouldn’t have gotten there with out here.”

“Mary’s an icon and everyone knows it. When we go to away meets all the coaches start huddling towards Mary.”

Mary Doerder is going into here 40th year as the diving coach at Bettendorf High School and she has loved every second of here time with the Bulldogs.

“It’s fun to be here, it’s a challenge to figure out how to make somebody do something they really don’t want to do sometimes.”

Though coaching can be challenging at times, for Mary, she couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

“It’s kind of in your blood, it’s just what you enjoy doing, it just feels like where I belong.”

Mary has always loved the sport of diving. In fact, she’s been a diver herself since the age of ten and still dives to this day.

“I usually dive in the Iowa games but it didn’t happen this summer, so this was the first summer that I haven’t been diving.”

“Last week she was on the board diving, she could probably qualify for state as a competitor in high school. She still has it.”

Still being a diver, Mary feels it gives her an edge to help her athletes that dive for her.

“You know, I know what those dives feel like, I know what it feels like to do it wrong, and that’s what a lot of my thinking as I’m coaching.”

Over Mary’s 40-years of coaching she has sent numerous divers to the state finals and had girls receive medals but putting all the wins and medals a side, Mary has touched so many lives over the years. To her divers she has become more than just a coach.

“She’s someone I can go to for probably anything. She’s always giving great advice, like listens to me. I’m very thankful to have her in my life and she’s the best coach I’ve ever had.”

“The moment you need her to be a grandma or someone outside of a coach she’s that person, she can easily flip from coach to friend really quick.”

So divers may come and go for the Bulldogs, but the one constant remains the same for Bettendorf: Mary Doerder.

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