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Coaches

Buck Smith
Legacy Program Director

Phone: 734.751.8178
Email: lsmith@emich.edu

Loren “Buck” Smith is entering his 18th year in 2017-18 as the head diving coach for both the men’s and women’s teams at Eastern Michigan University.

During his tenure at Eastern Michigan University, Smith has qualified eight female divers and three male divers to the NCAA Championships, while producing three NCAA All-American’s including Kelly Hendricks who placed third on 3-meter at the 2013 NCAA Championships.  Smith’s divers have placed in the top-eight at the Mid-American Conference Championships 173 times, won 23 MAC Championship titles, hold three MAC Championship records, as well as claiming five school records. He has also been named MAC Diving Coach of the Year 18 times between the men’s and women’s diving teams. 

Eastern Michigan's divers fueled an improbable come-from-behind win at the MAC Championships in 2016-17, allowing the Eagles to overcome a 70-point deficit on the final day of the meet. Alex Chan led the way for the Green and White, sweeping both the 1 and 3-meter dive for the third time in his career. For his efforts, Chan was named the MAC's Most Outstanding Diver for the third consecutive season. Additionally, Smith earned MAC Diving Coach of the Year honors. On the women's side, Smith was also named the top diving coach in the conference as EMU's balance on the springboard led the Green and White to a runner-up finish.

The EMU diving program continued to excel during the 2015-16 season under Smith, qualifying two for the NCAA Division I Championships after an unprecendented display at the MAC Championships. Individually, Alex Chan took home the MAC titles on both the 1-meter and 3-meter and was named MAC Outstanding Diver at the conclusion of the meet. Tom Gillis joined Chan in bringing home hardware, being named the MAC's Freshman Diver of the Year. In addition to the strong pair of showings from Chan and Gillis, Peter Rusenas garnered Second Team All-MAC honors after the Eagle quailified a total of nine competitors to the championship heats..Chan and Gillis continued the success at the Zone C Diving Championships before competing at the NCAA Championships to wrap up the season. Chan claimed 31st on the 1-meter, while Gillis placed 43rd on the 3-meter.
 
2015 was a momentous year for the EMU diving program, as Alex Chan became the first male diver to qualify for the NCAA Division I Championships in the 3-meter dive.  Chan reprised his title in the event at the MAC Championships, and Smith was named the Diving Coach of the Year for both the men and women.  In 2014, Smith was named the Mid-American Conference Diving Coach of the Year for the 13th time in his career, taking home the accolade at the men's MAC Championships while Danielle Hulvey earned the Most Outstanding Diver award at the women's MAC Championships. In 2013, Smith was selected as Mid-American Conference Diving Coach of the Year for the twelfth time after Jeff Craig  and Danielle Hulvey earned the MAC Diver of the Year awards. 

  In 2006, Smith’s divers played a vital role in the EMU women’s first-ever MAC Championship title. The Eagles placed five of the top seven divers on the one-meter board and claimed four of the top six places from the three-meter. On the men’s side, they placed three divers in the top five on the three-meter board and three of the top seven spots on the one-meter. Smith was named MAC Coach of the Year at both the men’s and women’s championship meets.

  Prior to Eastern Michigan, Smith was the coach at Oakland University during the 1999-2000 season where he coached the Mid-Continent Conference Diver of the Year and qualified three divers for the Division I Zone meet.

  Smith is also the head diving coach for Legacy Diving. In the 17-year history of Legacy Diving, Smith has had 268 national qualifiers, 140 junior national finalists, 17 national champions, 10 silver medalists and 12 bronze medalists. He has also had a Junior World Finalist and coached his team to six Junior Olympic Regional titles, as well as three Junior Zone Championship titles. Smith has also coached six Canadian Junior Olympic National finalists. At the senior national level, Smith has had 45 Senior National qualifiers, 28 finalists, 3 silver medalists, and 2 national champions. In 2012, four former and current Legacy divers qualified for Olympic Trials. Buck was also the head coach and team leader for the USA Diving National team who competed at the Grand Prix in Rostock, Germany in 2012.

Smith lives in Ypsilanti with his wife Kara and daughters Allie and Karlie.

 

Contact Information: Divegoodman@gmail.com & 229-798-8173

Coach Ed Goodman most recently was head diving coach at Moss Farms Diving in Moultrie, Georgia from 2005-2014. During his tenure, he coached a variety of talented young athletes, including Ryan Helms, a Senior National Champion and bronze medalist at the Junior Pan Am Games. Coach Goodman’s past divers hold multiple Georgia high school state records and have made impressive competitive appearances at Junior Olympic National Championships. Coach Goodman has an extensive background in competitive diving, gymnastics, tumbling, trampoline, plus years of experience coaching his own teams. Ed hails from the Florida Keys, where he was responsible for developing the Islamorada Diving Club. He’s also enjoyed coaching positions with the Ft. Lauderdale Diving Team, as well as the University of Toledo, Ohio, and the Sylvania Diving Club. Prior to embarking on his coaching career, Ed was an NCAA national qualifier at the University of Cincinnati, a national Junior Olympic diving champion in 1977, and a two-time world age-group tumbling champion.                                                                   

 

Coach Matt Ventura has been with the Legacy Diving family for the past 5 years. He also spent time coaching with the WISC summer league and at Skyline High School. Before his coaching career began, Matt was a diver for Buck Smith on the Eastern Michigan University Swimming and Diving Team from 2011-2015. During his time with the EMU Dive team the Eagles captured a pair of Mid-American Conference titles.  Matt graduated with a double major in communications and psychology. He is currently in his final year of his master’s of coaching program. 

Matt is incredibly excited to be with the Legacy Diving family and looks forward to this upcoming year. 

Contact Information: ventura.legacy@gmail.com & 440-670-3606

 

Coach Daniel Gironza's journey through diving began at the age of 14 when he joined Legacy Diving Club. During his time with Legacy, Dan accomplished many feats, including qualifying for the 2011 and 2012 Junior Nationals. He was also very accomplished in his high school diving career where he attained the 2012 Michigan Division I Championship title, and was named the MISCA diver of the year. Daniel continued his diving career as a Division I College diver for Eastern Michigan University under Coach Buck Smith. Daniel earned a Bachelor in Science along with a teaching certificate in SLA from EMU. Over the last 6 years, Daniel coached the WISC teams Ann Arbor Country Club and Huron Valley, along with Legacy. After finishing up his education at Eastern Michigan University, Dan is continuing to give back to his home team, Legacy with his unique style of coaching.

Contact Information: daggironza@gmail.com & 810-252-3207

Assistant Coaches

Hannah Cochran

Coach Dan Rossi is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University, where he dove throughout his collegiate experience.  After taking several years off for professional development, Dan returned to his love of diving in 2015 and served as the Volunteer Assistant Dive Coach at Bowling Green State University under Coach Alex Gauvin, who is a former member of the Legacy coaching family.  Simultaneously, Dan began training again to compete in U.S. Masters Diving.  The Michael H. Jones Natatorium soon became his second home, alongside the many other Legacy divers.  Since then, Dan has participated and medalled in several national meets, as well as most recently competed on behalf of Legacy at the 2017 FINA World Masters Championships, where he took 4th place on 1M and 10th place on 3M.  Dan is humbled that his diving journey has come full circle and is excited to grow with the Legacy family. 

Contact Information: rossi.legacy@gmail.com  

Madi Canadi

Andrew Sivulka