Outstanding Swim Coach and Physics teacher


Attleboro High School’s Natatorium (Photo by: Kaitlyn Johnson)

By: Kaitlyn Johnson

Attleboro High School’s natatorium was named after William F. Dentch, a teacher and coach, who was committed to swimming. The natatorium was originally dedicated on June 19, 2002, with a plaque donated by the class of 2000.

Retired physical education teacher Mrs. Wendy DaSilva said, “Bill Dentch was one of the most loved and highly honored coaches in Attleboro High School history.”

Dentch devoted more than 20 years of his life to coaching the school’s swim team. He also taught physics for 34 years. Physics teacher Mr. Peter Tarsi, who had Dentch as a mentor, said, “His death was quite devastating; he was a soft spoken and devoted man, not only towards teaching but also swimming.”

Dentch formed the school’s first girl’s team in 1974, and coached until 1988.

Forming a girl’s team allowed girls at AHS to have the same swimming opportunities the boys had. His team had many victories. October 23, 1987 was Dentch’s 100th victory with his girl’s team, only 13 years after starting. There are only about 10 meets each season, so over those 13 years (100/130), left the team almost or fully undefeated. Even after retirement, Dentch helped with the girls’ technique when volunteering at the school.

The pool gave schools and clubs around the area a place to swim. Other than AHS’s swim team using the pool, Bishop Feehan’s team and the Attleboro Blue Fish, use the pool.

Dentch was the founder of the Attleboro Blue Fish, a very well known local swim club. This team is known for pushing their athletes to be the best, and the best is exactly what they become, according to their website.

“Bill was a talented teacher, a valued colleague, who was never unwilling to share what he knew, a consummate professional, and a friend,” said former AHS teacher Mr. Peter Schoonmaker, who now teaches physics at Sharon High School.