In an office, or on the pool deck coaching girls, Doug Volding has long been a counselor for Corona del Mar High.
He resigned as CdM girls' swimming coach in 2009. A year later, he retired from counseling at the high school.
Retiring from counseling made sense to Volding. Leaving the girls' swimming position was something harder to take, but necessary as he battled health issues.
A comeback seemed unlikely.
"I really never wanted to leave the sport, but I was feeling so rotten," Volding said. "There was a time when I didn't think I could do it ... I really like to give [the girls] a feeling of 'get up and go.' If I'm not feeling that way [myself], I'm coming across like that, and that's not good for me."
Volding said now he feels rejuvenated.
After the three-year hiatus, he has returned to coach the CdM girls for his 26th year this spring. Barry O'Dea, who has overseen the whole program in Volding's absence, remains the boys' coach. Stephanie Gabert, who swam at CdM under Volding before graduating in 2007, remains on staff as well as a varsity assistant for both the boys and girls.