Aug. 7, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk announced today the hiring of Rich MacDonald as Navy's new head men's and women's diving coach.
"We welcome one of the finest diving coaches in collegiate athletics to the Academy family," said Gladchuk. "We are extremely impressed with Rich and his accomplishments at a number of prior institutions. He brings a wealth of experience, professionalism, energy and passion to two very important programs with the Naval Academy Athletic Association. The future remains bright for Navy diving."
"I am very grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a prestigious and successful institution," said MacDonald. "Christie (the former Chris Icenhower) and I are exited to get started on our next chapter. It will be difficult to fill the enormous shoes (retiring diving coach) Joe Suriano left behind. I know that I have his support and it will be great to have his wisdom to lean on from time to time. I look forward to working with the Navy family and helping (women's swimming head coach) John Morrison and (men's swimming head coach) Bill Roberts continue the history and success of the two programs."
MacDonald arrives at Navy after having served as the head diving coach at Virginia for the past four seasons. One of his divers advanced to the NCAA Championship in each of the 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.
In addition to his 16 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.