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Coach Higgins is in charge of the Raynesville swim team and responsible for leading these guys and girls to victory. Like Coach Taylor before him, Coach Higgins has a tough job because just about everyone follows Raynesville swimming. The guy has to put together a championship team each and every year, so the pressure's officially on. Let's go, Dolphins!
As a result, Coach Higgins isn't the most observant guy in the world. He's a bit single-minded actually, and he doesn't seem to care about his swimmers outside of how they perform in the water. He's bummed when Jake quits the team because it means they lose their best swimmer. Same deal when Jake gets his hand cut by a knife-wielding maniac. He also warns Jake to stay away from Dani:
"Jake, please don't do anything to fluster this kid. We can't win the state championship if she gets her heartbroken by you during the season […] It's just that you've messed up a few pretty heads in your years here at Raynesville, and this is one pretty head I want to remain clear and focused."
It was hard to believe we were even having this conversation. I opened my mouth to speak again but decided it would just bounce off his thick, championship-obsessed head. (23.20, 22-23)
We're going to side with Jake on this one. This is pretty stone-cold. But we'll also give Coach Higgins the benefit of the doubt—he's just so totally focused on winning that he can't think about how his words are affecting these kids. Wow. We wonder what this guy's like during the off-season.