many of you know by now, I am no longer the Diving Coach at
the University of Nebraska. I have received many calls and
e-mails of inquiry, and I want to address some issues. Now
three weeks into a new career, I can finally catch my breath
and begin to communicate some of the feelings I've long held.
for the sport of diving was nearly all consuming; it was definitely
driven from the heart, not from trying to fill my wallet.
Making a living is important, but loving what you do on a
day-to-day basis is what drives all human beings. Throughout
my first four years at Nebraska, coaching did satisfy those
basic human needs--as well as my wallet. As time progressed,
however, there began a gradual shift in the basic hierarchy
that began to affect my ability to care for my athletes in
the best way that I saw possible. This ultimately resulted
in the collegiate level of the sport being unable to fulfill
the emotional satisfaction I needed.
it seems that my lack of fulfillment at the collegiate level
is something I share with at least several of my colleagues.
It seems that over the course of my Division I tenure, a subtle
shift of power occurred whereby diving coaches lost control
of their programs to the swimming coaches. Ultimately, it
may be the correct "business decision" for the program
in its entirety (i.e., swimming and diving); however, most
unfortunately, it means that divers and diving coaches have
had to increase their tolerance for the historic prejudice
that swimming has inflicted upon diving. While it would be
unfair to to publicly name those programs in which this has
occurred, the important question that remains to be answered
by the coaches who have chosen to make collegiate diving their
career is: How long will they allow this to go on or how long
will it go on before diving ceases to exist as a collegiate
of you know, I have been quite outspoken in my support for
the secession of diving from swimming. I have always believed
it to be necessary for the continued well-being of diving
as a collegiate sport. Today more than ever, I still stand
by that belief. More
on that later.
couple of thoughts in closing... I feel extraordinarily fortunate
to have been the Diving Coach at the University of Nebraska.
(Shut up all you jerks who make fun of Huskers!!! :-). Although
Nebraska always has and always will be subjected to discrimination,
I believe the work ethic and general supportiveness of the
people in this state is unparalleled. As a native Californian/transplanted
Nebraskan, I feel that I have a valid pedestal upon which
to preach. The community's support of my program was always
tremendous, and I want to say thank you to those who supported
my athletes and myself throughout the years.
also like to put an end to some of the rumors surrounding
my departure from the University of Nebraska. In 1998, I suffered
a permanent injury to my hand that affected my ability to
belt spot the generally more massive collegiate divers for
which Nebraska is famous. I began to question my physical
abilities--not so much for the immediate future--but more
for what they would be like in 10-15 years. Coincidentally,
I also met the love of my life. In our early discussions of
our future together, she wisely pointed out to me that it
was ludicrous to consider parenthood when my ritual of coaching
at the collegiate level kept me on the road an average of
150 days out of the year. Add into the equation the degradation
of seeing my collegiate athletes subjected to decisions made
by swimming coaches that were not in their best interests,
and a career change was the only logical choice.
of my departure and the subsequent investigation of the swimming
portion of the program at the University of Nebraska was merely
coincidental. I began to evaluate my possible alternative
careers in the spring of 1999. I interviewed with my current
company in early February of 2000. Ironically, as I awaited
my interviews in Kansas City, I read in the U.S.A. Today
sports section about the dropping of Men's Swimming and Diving
at the University
of Miami. At that moment, I knew that my decision was
the correct decision.
for whom I work initially wanted me to begin in June 2000;
however, I told them I was unable to begin then due to my
commitment to an athlete who had dedicated himself to trying
to make the Olympic Team, as well as my upcoming wedding.
After my initial decline of their offer, the Wrestling Coach
at Nebraska was asked to resign, and I knew then that the
fuse was burning. I successfully renegotiated my initial job
offer and convinced the company to allow me to begin training
at the next available opportunity. Their final offer came
July 31st, 2000, and I informed my superiors of my decision
to resign on August 10th, effective August 31st. I began training
for my new job September 11th in Scottsdale, Arizona, and
completed it November 17th.
due to the timing of all of this, I was unable to attend and
adequately complete my tenure as the Rules Chair for United
States Diving. To my colleagues for whom I served, and for
my co-committee members, I wanted to apologize for the timing
of my personal-life events that prevented me from attending
the USAS Convention in Orlando. I thoroughly enjoyed serving
and relished the challenges that were put forth to the committee.
I know at some point I would like to again be of service to
United States Diving. If you have any questions or comments,
please feel free to contact me.