East Mourns Loss of Beloved Coach/Alumni

Kacie Van Buskirk was a beloved, talented, young assistant swim coach for South Lyon East. News of her sudden passing reached the community over the weekend.  

She was a record breaking swimmer for the East swim team before she graduated in 2011. She later returned to become an assistant coach at East for the past 5 years. 

Athletic director Greg Michaels said in a statement, “Kacie connected with her athletes by establishing trusting relationships. She assisted coach Burch within the swim community by creating a positive program culture. I will remember Kacie for her positive attitude, passion for coaching and her loyalty to East… she was a person who was great for our kids. These are just a few of the many amazing qualities Kacie exemplified each and every day.”

Currently a memorial has been set up at East, which includes personal messages, flowers and sentiments dedicated to Kacie. There is also a swim t-shirt fundraiser going on with the theme #kaciestrong. All proceeds go directly to her family. 

There are hopes to hold a vigil and a scholarship fund is in the works. Final dates and links are not available yet. 

To learn more about Kacie, visit these professional links: (updated 12/15/20)

Hometown Life article

Click on Detroit article and video  










Kacie was so much more than a coach to every single one of us, the east girls team, Old’s girls team and the boys team. She was our best friend, our older sister, our best mentor and biggest role model. She made us into amazing swimmers and not only that but better people. We wouldn’t be who we are today with her. She meant the world to me. Her laugh was so infectious and the times I remember most are the times we spent laughing together or the times she broke the tension in the middle of a hard set just by laughing at us. She was the best listener, I knew I could come to her and tell her anything and she’d just listen and let me get it all out. Her pep talks accomplished more in 3 words then any of the other coaches monologues. She knew just what to say to get us going and was ALWAYS there for every single one of us. I miss her smile, I miss her laugh, I miss her so much. We love you forever Kacie. We hope we made you proud💜 #kaciestrong #swimforkacie

-Jordan Dashner 

Coach Kacie was so much more than a coach to us, she was our friend, our big sister, our role model. She was a huge influence on my life and made the most positive impact on everyone that she coached. Kacie was always there for us no matter what, she really taught me to make the best out of a bad situation and even when it’s hard, to keep pushing and always give everything your 100% because in the end it will all be worth it. Although sometimes it was hard for me to race without overthinking it and not always giving it my all, from now on when I step up on the blocks, I’ll hear Kacie in the back of my head telling me her not-so inspirational quotes like “swim fast” or “don’t suck”. I will give it my all, in every race from now on, no matter how much it hurts and I will always swim for Kacie. My favorite memory with Kacie was probably from last year, my freshman season. It was the end of the season, a few days before Conferences and we had gotten out early due to our shortened taper practices. I was on one side of the pool singing “Let it Go” for my team as a joke. When I finished I saw Kacie on the other side of the pool and she hadn’t heard me singing. I knew that I had to go sing for her too; so, I skipped over to her side of the pool where she was coaching the girls for States. She knew what was coming, I performed for her and tried to make it as entertaining as possible and just to make her laugh as much as I could. To this day, I can still picture Kacie laughing at me hysterically. 

-Kayla Andruszkiewicz

Coach Kacie was the best role model any swimmer could have. She was so much more than a coach to us; she was our friend, our sister. She was encouraging, kind, and inspiring to everyone who has ever had the pleasure of knowing her. We could always count on her signature laugh to cheer us up instantly, and she always had a smile on her face. When I started to doubt myself sometimes, she always knew what to say to  instill confidence in me. Her influence made me into the swimmer and person I am today, and I will cherish the time I was able to spend with her these past 4 years. I will always hold onto the lessons she taught me not just about swim, but about life, and I can’t wait to see this team carry on her legacy with every race. We love and miss you so much, Kacie.

-Abby Seybert 

Coach Kacie always knew how to push each and everyone of us. She helped me become the swimmer I am even before highschool. She welcomed everyone to the team with open arms and a bright smile. Kacie always knew how to make us laugh and I will never forget her smile, her  laugh and her motivational speeches.


Coach Kacie was a very special person, and that doesn’t even begin to describe her. She was not just a coach to us, she was more like a big sister and a best friend, who just happened to teach us how to swim. But she taught us so much more than just how to swim. She taught us to make the best of a bad situation, how to always be positive, and how to just have fun and cherish the memories we made together. We shared countless memories and laughs and inside jokes, and she always knew the perfect thing to say if we were having a hard day, a rough set, or if she just wanted to make us laugh. Her smile was so beautiful, and it was never hard to find. She always had a smile on, no matter what, and she never failed to brighten everyone’s day with it. We cherished her two-word pre-meet pep talks, her beautiful laugh, the endless jokes and games between us, and she is irreplaceable. She touched so many hearts and made a difference in so many people’s lives. We all love her more than words can ever describe, and she will be missed forever. Thank you, Kacie, for everything that you have done for us, we will love you and miss you forever.

-Amanda Lees