MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - In collegiate sports, athletes come and go year after year through each respective team. Whether they have a legendary career, become injury prone and have a disappointing college campaign, or just go out there to have fun and play for the university they love, every athlete leaves an impact in some type of way.
Kim Edenire swam for the Mountaineers from 1983-87,
Kim (Kaufman) Eidenire swam for the Mountaineers throughout her four-year career that ended upon her graduation in 1987.
While at West Virginia, Eidenire qualified for the NCAA Championships all four years, becoming the first Mountaineer to do so. Since she set that mark, it has only been accomplished on three other occasions. She set school records in the 100 back and 200 back, and was a member of the 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay teams that also set school records.
Eidenire was the first female to earn NCAA Honorable Mention All-America honors at WVU and the first three-time Honorable Mention All-American in school history, while also qualifying and swimming in the 1984 Olympic Trials.
The 1987 graduate earned her bachelor’s in sport management and has spent most of her life working in the sports field since earning her degree.
“I left West Virginia and moved to south Florida to work in the family golf business,” Eidenire says. “When I became pregnant with my daughter, I became a stay at home mom. When my kids started elementary school, I started volunteering at their school. That led to substituting, then I started teaching full time.”
A lot of college athletes that once lived and breathed their sport day in and day out while competing in school, soon move on and start a new life after graduation, usually leaving their sport behind and hanging on to only memories and pictures of the sport they used to love.
Not Eidnire. Just four years ago, she was offered a physical education position at the premier MAST Academy in Miami, where she takes her love and talent for the sport to teach the ‘swimming one’ course to all ninth graders.
The class consists of teaching students the proper way to swim all types of strokes, how to tread water properly, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling and water polo. Eidenire also coached the girls swimming and water polo teams for two years, but in July of 2012, was named the schools Athletic Director.
While Eidenire does not swim competitively anymore, you can still find her in the pool pretty much every day, whether it’s swimming on her free time or while teaching her classes.
On a more personal note, Eidenire has been married to her husband Earle, for 21 years. He is a Miami native and a Florida State graduate. The Eidenire’s have two children, Patti who is 19, and Eric, 17. Patti is a sophomore at the Coast Guard Academy where she is a member of their swimming and water polo teams, while Eric is a senior in high school who plays soccer. The family enjoys all kinds of water activities and spends as much time as possible at their vacation home in the Florida Keys.
As we can all imagine, the Miami lifestyle and living there is like a year round vacation. The warm weather, the beaches, it seems like the Eidenire’s current hometown has got it all.
Except one thing, Mountaineer football.
The Parkersburg, W.Va. native commented, “I miss football weekends at WVU. We attended all home games every year. There is nothing like tailgating on a football Saturday in Morgantown!”
I guess that old saying really does apply to every student. Once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer.
Eidenire has had the opportunity to reconnect with some of her former Mountaineer teammates, but spends time wondering what has happened to some of the others that she has not had the opportunity to reconnect with. Unfortunately with how busy her fall seasons have become with work, she been unable to get back to Morgantown for the swim team reunion.
Every athlete that goes through the university creates a special bond with their teammates over the years they compete. They learn valuable life lessons and take their experiences with them for the rest of their lives.
“Being a part of a team has helped me in many aspects of my life. The most important is how to deal with many different types of people. In all of my jobs I have had to deal with people I really like, and people I don't but we have to work together in order to get the job done. Swimming on a team has taught me that, as well as how to be disciplined. I still get up at 5 a.m. to work out, just like back in college,” commented Eidenire on what she took away from being part of the Mountaineer swim team.
For every alumni, who may not realize while still in school, will tell you that Morgantown is a place that will get in your blood, and stay there forever.