Resident Feature

Meet the Hirsches

A huge part of Northgate’s swimming community

Sometimes blind dates work out. Scott and Luann were set up by Patty Doherty in 1993. Patty’s kids swam at Scottsdale Swim Club, where Scott coached, and went to St. Mary’s Elementary, where Luann taught. Their first date was a James Taylor concert at the Concord Pavilion. They were engaged five months later and married in 1994. They are members at St. John Vianney Church, love to bike ride and cook together, and root for the same local teams: Giants, Warriors and 49ers. They both chose careers in teaching and value family and friends; it’s not a surprise this blind date worked out!

Scott grew up in Concord and attended De La Salle High School. Luann was born in New York but moved to Walnut Creek with her family in the 1970’s. She attended Carondelet High School. Although the two went to the Catholic schools right across the street from each other, graduating in the early 80’s, they didn’t meet until much later. Scott went on to graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in mathematics and a teaching credential. Luann graduated from UC San Diego, also with a degree in mathematics, and a minor in music. She later received her teaching credential at St. Mary’s College in Moraga. 

Both Scott and Luann have spent their adult lives teaching young people. Scott has been a math teacher at De La Salle and a swim and water polo coach. He spent 27 years as the swim coach for Scottsdale Swim Club and is loved by so many Northgate families whose kids he has coached. He also coached Carondelet swimming for 10 years and De La Salle’s water polo team for 30 years. Scott was awarded the North Coast Section Honor Coach in both swimming and water polo, and continues to be involved with De La Salle swimming and water polo. 

Luann taught at St. Mary’s Elementary School for eight years, retiring to stay home with her three boys. She has taught piano to kids her entire adult life, and more recently has started a part-time quilting business. During the pandemic, Luann quilted more than 50 quilts. She has a Facebook page showing her work called Designs by Lulu. 

Andrew, the oldest of the Hirsch sons, is 23 and graduated from USF in 2020. He now works for Veritas Investments in San Francisco. Michael attends Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Mark is a senior at Northgate High School. All three boys played multiple sports through the years, “but swimming and water polo defined most of our fondest memories of our kids’ activities,” says Luann. 

Andrew and Michael played water polo at De La Salle; Mark currently plays for Northgate. And of course, all three swam for Scottsdale, became life guards there, and spent their summers as part of the Scottsdale family. As Luann adds, “The boys all loved being part of the extended family that the members of Scottsdale became to us. Most of our best friends we met poolside at SSC. We loved our years there.” 

A rescue dog from ARF rounds out the family. They got Steph after the 2015 NBA finals and named her for their favorite Warriors player. They just lost a pet fish named Maurice who was won at the Walnut Festival 10 years ago. He must have been a very happy fish living with such a swim focused family! 

The Hirsches recently had a chance to visit Hawaii with all their sons, a place that is special to them. They honeymooned there and have been able to share family vacations there as well.

The Hirsch family loves the Northgate neighborhood, especially the people and their long history and connections with the community. “Our community has been supportive through everything from the birth of our children to Luann’s battle with breast cancer in 2013,” says Scott. “We are now old enough to see many of the kids that we taught or coached grow up and become adults, parents and professionals. That is our favorite thing about growing up here, teaching here and living here. Many former students are now friends. We know their parents and siblings and many of their struggles and triumphs. It’s a real honor to know so many wonderful families over the years.” Luann adds, “By being involved in Walnut Acres Elementary and Scottsdale we met all of our friends. We got to know our children’s friends and were greatly blessed by those connections.”

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By Kara Navolio, Resident since 1991