NEW YORK – Columbia University has hired 17-time University Athletic Association (UAA) Coach of the Year Scott Donie to be the next head coach of the Columbia diving program, Director of Athletics and Intercollegiate Athletics Peter Pilling announced today.
"We are very excited to welcome Scott and his family to Columbia," said Pilling. "His experience as both a very successful collegiate coach and as a world-class diver, along with his familiarity with the City of New York, will be a great asset to our student-athletes. We are confident that he is the perfect person to enhance and grow the diving program’s foundation so successfully built by Gordon Spencer."
Donie arrives to Morningside Heights boasting an unprecedented 16 seasons at the helm of the New York University diving program. At NYU, he coached nine divers to a combined 19 All-America honors. Last season, Donie produced NCAA National Championship qualifiers and UAA Champions in both the men’s and women’s divisions. Donie went on to be named Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and UAA Championships men’s and women’s Diving Coach of the Meet.
“I’m deeply humbled to be selected to lead the diving program here at Columbia. This is truly the opportunity of a lifetime and a full circle moment in the course of my life,” said Donie. “Columbia is where the seeds of my passion for the sport were planted as a young diver. From the age of 11, I traveled to Columbia from New Jersey to train under the legendary Jim Stillson as a member of the nationally acclaimed Morningside Muggers, one of the top club programs in the country in the early 1980's. There is a long tradition of world-class swimmers and divers that have trained here on the campus of Columbia.”
“I am looking forward to working with Diana [Caskey], Demerae [Christianson], Jim [Bolster] and Gustavo [Leal} as we embark on this exciting new chapter to help continue the great tradition of Columbia Swimming and Diving. To work side-by-side with these legendary coaches is a dream come true.”
“I am forever grateful to Gordon Spencer for the standard he set for this diving program for over three decades. Taking over for a legend will be a tall task, but it is one that I embrace and look forward to. He’s retired at a time that’s allowing me to inherit some of the best divers Columbia has ever seen. I am excited to return to Columbia and eager to teach and learn from these talented student athletes. “
“A special thank you to President Lee C. Bollinger, athletic director Peter Pilling and the entire Columbia Athletics team for entrusting me with this opportunity,” added Donie.
When Donie arrived to NYU, he brought with him impressive credentials as a 1992 and 1996 United States Olympian, highlighted by capturing the silver medal in the 10-meter platform dive at the 1992 Games in Barcelona.
A 1990 graduate of Southern Methodist University, Donie was a three-time NCAA Division I Champion, winning both the three-meter springboard and 10-meter platform dives in 1990, along with the 10-meter platform dive in 1989.
Donie, who trained for several years under the direction of former U.S. Olympic Coach Ron O’Brien, also served as an assistant coach at the University of Miami from 1993-96 and helped produce three NCAA National Champions for the Hurricanes.
A native of Somerset, New Jersey, Donie resides in Manhattan with his wife Kaili and daughter Lucy.
“We are excited to welcome Scott Donie as the new head diving coach," said head coach of Columbia men's swimming Jim Bolster. "He has an incredible record of success and I believe our divers are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with one of our country’s best divers ever. I too am looking forward to working with Scott.”
“We are excited to welcome Scott Donie to the Columbia swimming and diving family," head women's swimming coach of Columbia, Diana Caskey stated. "He is a strong communicator and has an infectious positive energy that will help continue to foster the excellent diving tradition at Columbia."