Rick Schavone announced his retirement from his position as Stanford’s head diving coach on Thursday. After manning the post for 36 years in a coaching career that stretched over five decades, Schavone, who owns a doctorate in sports psychology, cited age as the main factor in his decision.
“I knew the time was coming,” Schavone told GoStanford.com. “I’ll be 65 years old in a month, so I decided the time is now. I’ve been very lucky to spend 36 years at a great university coaching some amazing student-athletes. I want to thank all the Stanford divers for a wonderful rewarding journey. I hope that I’ve added something to their lives, for I can assure you they have to mine.”
Schavone leaves behind a rich coaching legacy, having been named the NCAA’s Diving Coach of the Year on four separate occasions, as well as receiving the same honor for the Pac-12 nine times. The former diving head coach at Princeton has also led seven Stanford divers to individual national championships, including two from 2012 Olympic bronze medalist and current junior Kristian Ipsen. In addition, Schavone has helped direct numerous national teams, most notably as a coach for the U.S. team at the 2012 Olympics and the 2013 FINA World Championships.
It is unclear whether Schavone will continue to teach his popular Sports Psychology class beyond this year, or who will replace him as head of the diving program. What is evident, however, is that his name will not soon be forgotten in the lore of Stanford swimming and diving.
“Rick has achieved so much greatness as a coach for not only Stanford but at the national and international level,” Director of Men’s Swimming Ted Knapp told GoStanford.com on Thursday. “His admiration extends throughout the entire diving community. But not only do I admire him for his coaching accomplishments and the legacy he leaves here at Stanford, I more importantly respect and honor him as a person. You could not ask for a better person to be a friend, colleague and mentor. He will be missed in many, many ways.”