Miami University (Ohio) head diving coach KongRong Li won’t return as the program’s head coach next season, a school spokesperson confirmed to SwimSwam on Monday. That spokesperson also said that Miami would continue to have divers and a diving coach next season.
Li was named the 2019 Diving Coach of the Year at the MAC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships, which is the 3rd time he’s won the award. In his tenure, he has produced either the male or female honoree for MAC Diver of the Year in 10 out of his 13 seasons. In total, that’s 10 MAC Diver of the Year awards and 17 MAC Championships in the 1-meter and 3-meter events. That includes coaching women’s diver Pei Lin to 7 All-America awards.
He also coached the last two seasons of Chris Heaton’s career at Miami, where he finished his career undefeated at the MAC Championships and was twice named MAC Diver of the Year. That continued into the 2010 and 2011 seasons, where Jimmy Beres was named the Conference Diver of the Year.
Last season, at the Mid-American Conference Championships, the Miami University men finished 2nd, 80 points behind the conference champions Missouri State.
On the women’s side, the women’s team was 4th with 408 points, about half the points of the champions from Akron.
The Mid-American Conference only holds 1 meter and 3 meter events at its conference championship meet. Last season, the Miami men scored 52 diving points, as compared to 81 for Missouri State. Missouri State did use 3 divers instead of 2, however, and with only 10 male divers competing in the 5-team conference, there were significant points to be had just by entering more divers.
Miami’s top performer on the men’s side was Sam Wiedemann, who was 3rd on both the 1-meter and 3-meter for the men.
On the women’s side, where there were 29 competitors in each diving event and points weren’t assured via a legal finish, the Miami women scored only 3 diving points with 4 divers entered.
Lin has some international experience as well. He served as Team Leader for Team USA at a 2018 FINA Diving World Cup event. He also served as a coach consultant for USA Diving in the 2013-2014 season.
KR LI AT MIAMI
- Men’s MAC Diving Coach of the Year: 2009, 2010, 2011
- Men’s MAC Diver of the Year: Chris Heaton (2008, 2009), Jimmy Beres (2010, 2011)
- Women’s MAC Diver of the Year: Nikki Craft (2012), Pei Lin (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
- Men’s MAC Champion 1-Meter: Chris Heaton (2008, 2009), Jimmy Beres (2010, 2011)
- Women’s MAC Champion 1-Meter: Pei Lin (2015, 2016, 2017)
- Men’s MAC Champion 3-Meter: Chris Heaton (2008, 2009), Jimmy Beres (2011)
- Women’s MAC Champion 3-Meter: Nikki Craft (2012); Pei Lin (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
- NCAA Zone C Women’s Diving Champion 1-Meter: Pei Lin (2015, 2016)
- NCAA Zone C Women’s Diving Champion 3-Meter: Pei Lin (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
- NCAA Championship Women’s 3-Meter: Pei Lin (2nd 2015, 2nd 2016, 2nd 2017, 5th 2018)
- NCAA Championship Women’s 1-Meter: Pei Lin (10th 2015, 3rd 2016, 7th 2017, 21st 2018)
- MAC Team Championships (Women): 2009, 2013
- MAC Record Holders: Women’s 3-Meter (Pei Lin 409.70 — 2015)
- MAC Championship Record Holders: Women’s 1-Meter (Pei Lin 338.90 — 2016), 3-Meter (Pei Lin 398.95 — 2016)
KR LI COACHING CREDENTIALS
- Head Diving Coach — Miami University (August 2007-2020)
- Co-Head Diving Coach — U.S. Elite Diving Academy (2001-2007)
- Diving Coach — Australian Institute of Sport Elite Diving Program (1995-2001)
- Head Diving Coach — Nanning Diving Team – Guangxi, China (1985-1995)
- Assistant Diving Coach — Nanning Diving Team – Guangxi, China (1980-1985)