January 27, 2021
Science teacher and ’04 team captain returns to the Friars’ pool after two-year stint at Niles West.
Fenwick has named chemistry/environmental science teacher and alumna Elizabeth “Liz” (Perry) Timmons '04 as its new varsity head coach for the girls’ water polo team. Timmons replaces Fenwick legend Jack Wagner, who retired late last summer after 26 seasons with the Friars. Twice under Wagner’s tutelage, she competed in the Illinois state water-polo tournament and three times as a member (and senior captain) of Fenwick’s swimming team.
Coach Timmons, who played collegiate water polo at Santa Clara University in California, was an assistant swimming and water polo coach at Fenwick from 2009 through 2017. Then for two seasons, she served as varsity head coach for the girls’ water polo team at Niles West High School in Skokie, IL. She also coaches the 14U and high-school water polo programs for Windy City Sports, which is based in Oak Park.
“We are extremely excited to have Coach Timmons leading our girl’ water polo program,” says athletic director and alumnus Scott Thies '99. “Coach Timmons has unique qualifications with her experience as a former Friar student-athlete and collegiate athlete, as an assistant under legendary coach Jack Wagner and head-coaching experience (at Niles West).”
About returning to her alma mater, Timmons adds: “I’m very grateful for this opportunity and thank Father Peddicord [president], Mr. Groom [principal] and Mr. Thies for allowing me to share my love of water polo with the Fenwick community. I promise to work hard to continue the school’s tradition of aquatics excellence.”
The Perrys and polo go together like water and chlorine. Friars’ water polo is a passion and tradition for the family. Timmons’ older brother, Kyle (Fenwick Class of 2001), is an English teacher and also head coach of the boys’ team. Dave Perry, their late father, held that coaching position for more than two decades before his untimely death (prostate cancer) in 2011. The elder Coach Perry posted an impressive record of 711-70-1 over 24 seasons, including an incredible nine state titles -- eight consecutively.
Fenwick aquatics director Steve Thompson says, “I am excited to add Coach Timmons to the aquatics’ program as the girls’ varsity head coach for water polo. Her perspective as a student athlete, coach and legacy of Fenwick will add to the girls’ experience as Friars. I am looking forward to working with her and her brother, Coach Kyle Perry to create a vision for Fenwick Aquatics that honors our history and positively represents our future.” Thompson also is the head boys and girls’ swimming and diving coach at Fenwick.
Mrs. Timmons has been a member of Fenwick’s science faculty for the past 10 years. She earned a master’s degree in education from Dominican University (River Forest, IL), where her grade point average was 4.0 on a 4.0 scale.