With the assistance of diving coaches, divers spend years training and preparing for competitions in the U.S. and for the ultimate international competition, the Olympics. Diving coaches may begin coaching at the collegiate level before coaching professional divers. Salary levels at the collegiate level can be extremely well-paying while other salary levels may be smaller. Experience and education explains the difference in salary levels.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average salary of coaches at $28,340 as of May 2008 with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $15,530 and the highest 10 percent earning more than $62,660. In professional diving, the average salary for coaches is $60,160 as of 2008. Instructors at colleges and universities earn an average of $39,550 annually while those at elementary and secondary schools earn an average of $22,390 annually as of 2008 according to the bureau.
An April 2009 article for Collegesportsblog.com notes the salary of high-profile collegiate diving coach Vince Panzano of Ohio State University whose resume includes 22 U.S. diving champions, 75 collegiate All-Americans and divers on five out of six Olympic teams dating back to 2003. Though Panzano's starting salary of $86,000 in 1998 has been reduced to $71,000 as of 2009, he remains one of the highest paid diving coaches in the U.S. At Auburn University, the men's diving coach earns $113,000 as of 2010 compared to the women's diving coach at $86,000 as of 2010 according to an April 2011 article for the The Crimson White.
Usadiving.org lists several job postings for diving coaches in the U.S. for June 2011 These postings range from coaching for a diving club team to a middle school diving program. The Greenwich YMCA Diving Club requires assistant diving coaches to have a bachelor's degree and have safety certifications. Assistant coaches receive a full-time salary and benefits. In comparison, the University of Iowa seeks a diving coach with a bachelor's degree and a minimum of three years experience coaching in competitive diving. Salary is commensurate with experience. At Lubbock Middle School salary is is based on the Lubbock School District's pay scale and diving coaches receive an additional stipend. Coaches must have their teaching certificate in the state of Texas and have competitive diving coaching experience.
As of 2010, the University of Michigan's diving coach Christopher Bergere earns $61,186 according to Umsalary.info, a website that reveals the salaries of staff members of the University of Michigan. A number of college diving coaches earn six-figure salaries. On the opposite end, former cardiologist Dennis Rowe retired from medicine to pursue a career in his second love, diving. In a May 2010 article for Second Act entitled "Cardiologist's Heart Belongs to Diving", Rowe admits to writer David Ferell that his yearly income of approximately $2,000 is insignificant as he loves the sport and spent many years coaching for free.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Athletes, Coaches, Umpires and Related Workers
- Everything College Sports; Coaching Salaries and Using Ohio State as an Example; Heather Lawrence; April 2011
- The Crimson White; Coaches Salaries Don't Add Up; Zachary Al-Khateeb; April 2011
- Umsalary.info: University of Michigan Salary Search
- It's Just Money; College Coaching Salaries; March 2006
- Photo Credit Feng Li/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images