Arizona State has promoted volunteer assistant Marc Briggs to lead its diving program for the 2021-2022 season.
When the school parted ways with former head coach Mark Bradshaw in May 2020, both he, and former divers, claimed that this was the start of the school’s plan to cut the diving program altogether.
The school at the time, however, said that wasn’t true. They rode out the 2020-2021 COVID season, where the school’s entire swimming & diving program redshirted, without a coach, but have no hired Briggs to fill the role.
Briggs spent the previous 11 seasons as a volunteer assistant. Briggs himself is a 2002 graduate of Arizona State. In parallel with those 11 years, Briggs worked as the head coach and team director of the Sun Devil Divers club in Tempe. He has held that position since 2004, where the club has produced 28 collegiate divers.
“I’m absolutely honored to be named the new diving coach for my alma mater,” Briggs said. “I’m just absolutely thrilled to be part of our organization and part of Bob Bowman’s group – we’re building some great things. The plan is to get some divers in here for the spring and start really building for the fall and upcoming year, and I see us building a great group and running for a title at the Pac-12 Championships. The sky’s the limit.”
As an athlete, Briggs was a three-time All-American in the 3-meter and 10-meter diving events in two seasons with the program, and was the 2000 Pac-12 Champion on 3-meter. At the time, he was the school’s first diving All-American since 1983, and kick-started a rise by the program to become one of the country’s best.
He also dove for one season at the University of North Dakota.
“We are proud to have Sun Devil alum Marc Briggs lead our diving program,” Bowman said. “As an NCAA All-American and conference champion, Marc has firsthand knowledge of what it takes to compete successfully at the top levels of collegiate diving. As a coach, he has developed athletes from the grassroots to the Olympic level and has very strong ties to club diving in Arizona. This experience will be invaluable as he takes over our program and continues the legacy of excellence that is the hallmark of ASU diving.”
Prior to the pandemic, Arizona State had one of the Pac-12s most successful diving programs. That includes the program’s only swimming or diving national titles from Finnish diver Joona Puhaka, who won the 1m in 2003, the 3m in 2004, and both the 1m and the 3m in 2005.
Briggs will be tasked with rebuilding the program from scratch, however. The school has no divers returning from its last collegiate season in 2019-2020, and no divers scheduled to be freshmen last season either.