NAVYSPORTS.COM - The Official Web Site of Naval Academy Varsity Athletics - Rich MacDonald Bio
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2016-17 Navy Athletics Season In Review

Overall Record: 306-185-6 (.622)


Navy Swimming and Diving Falls Short to Penn State

Mids record six first-place performances


Freshmen Shine in Navy Swimming & Diving Sweep

A combined 8 events wins tallied by freshmen today


Navy Sweeps League Swimming & Diving Crowns

Fifth-straight sweep of titles


Navy Swimming and Diving Sweeps Army West Point

Mids win 29 of 32 events

Rich MacDonald begins his fifth season as Navy’s men’s and women’s diving coach in the fall of 2017.

The four-time Patriot League Coach of the Year has guided his Mids to 10 event titles at the Patriot League Championship in his short time on The Yard. The remainder of the league has combined to win six boards during the MacDonald era.

His divers scored points in nine of their 12 events at the 2017 Patriot League Championship, with Mids accounting for eight berths in a championship final of an event. This included Bradley Buchter who swept both boards to be tabbed as the league’s diver of the year. Buchter (three events), Nate Belch (two), Nash Nickerson (two) and Madison Keiser (two) all advanced to the 2017 NCAA Zone ‘A’ Championship, with Buchter qualifying for the NCAA Championship in each of his three events.

MacDonald’s inaugural 2013-14 season was a successful one as his nine divers entered into the Patriot League Championship combined to score points in 17 of their 18 events and compiled 12 berths in the championship finals of the four events. Individually, Wil Mayo won both boards to be tabbed as the Patriot League Men’s Diver of the Year, while MacDonald himself was selected as the league’s diving coach of the year. Additionally, Mayo, Ben Freedman and D.J. Principato qualified for the NCAA Zone ‘A’ Championship.

That success continued in his second season as his six divers scored points in all 18 of their respective events, which led to MacDonald again being named as the league’s coach of the year. Individually, Belch won both boards at the Patriot League Championship to be tabbed as the league’s diver of the year, Joe Esposito was the runner-up on the three meter, Julie Jesse won the league’s one-meter board and Amanda Zerphy placed second on the three meter. Additionally, each of those four divers competed at the 2015 NCAA Zone ‘A’ Diving Championship.

Navy’s divers had another successful season in 2015-16. On the men’s side, freshman Joe Kaszubowski was tabbed as the diver of the year in the league after winning the three meter and finishing in second place on the one meter, with Belch claiming the one-meter title and placing second on the three meter. Jesse was selected as the women’s diver of the year in the league after she won the three-meter board and placed third in the one-meter competition. Kaszubowski (three events), Jesse (two events), Belch (two events) and Love (two events) all competed at the NCAA Zone ‘A’ Diving Championship, with Kaszubowski advancing to the NCAA Championship in the platform diving event.

MacDonald arrived at Navy in the summer of 2013 after having served as the head diving coach at Virginia for the previous four seasons. One of his divers advanced to the NCAA Championship in each of his last two seasons. Briggy Imbriglia placed 13th on the platform at the 2012 national championship while J.B. Kolod placed 12th on the three meter –– the highest finish in an event by a Virginia diver at the meet in school history –– in 2013. The two are the lone Virginia divers to have earned NCAA All-America recognition.

Additionally, a minimum of three Virginia divers qualified for the NCAA Zone Championship meet in each of his four years, with all nine of his divers advancing to the 2013 event. Virginia swept the men’s and women’s Atlantic Coast Conference swimming and diving team titles and recorded a combined seven top-20 showings in the final team standings at the respective NCAA Championship meets during MacDonald’s four-year stint.

A 1997 graduate of Rhode Island, MacDonald began serving as the diving coach at his alma mater immediately upon his graduating from the school. He would coach a pair of conference champions and three NCAA Zone Championship meet qualifiers in his three seasons at Rhode Island.

MacDonald then became the first full-time diving coach in East Carolina history when he accepted the position in 2000. He guided at least one diver to the NCAA Zone Championship meet in all but one of his nine seasons at the school. Additionally, MacDonald’s divers broke every school diving record during his stint at the school, he saw eight of his divers final in multiple events at the conference championship and he coached Christie Icenhower to the 2005 Conference USA Freshman Diver-of-the-Year award.

In addition to his 19 years of coaching on the collegiate level, MacDonald has also spent considerable time coaching on the club level. This includes six years at the Fort Washington Swim Club in his hometown of Fort Washington, Pa., nine years at the Emerald City Dive Club in Greenville, N.C., and four years as the founder, owner and head coach of the Wahoo Diving Club in Charlottesville, Va.

MacDonald is currently serving on the NCAA Diving Rules Committee.

MacDonald and his wife, Christie, are the parents of son Bryan, who will turn three in early 2018, and daughter Madison, who will celebrate her first birthday on Christmas Day.

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