Divers, Former Coach Say Arizona State is Cutting Diving; School Denies

Arizona State University is discontinuing its diving program, multiple sources tell SwimSwam. Additionally, a formerly committed diver posted on Instagram that the program is “indefinitely terminated,” and former coach Mark Bradshaw says current divers were told the school “will not be supporting diving this year.”

Isabelle Lombardi, who dives with Arizona State’s club team, Sun Devil Divers, will now go to the University of Hawaii instead.

Frida Kaellgren – ASU’s only 2019-20 diver slated to return next season – is currently in the transfer portal, and Bradshaw announced he was leaving after 23 seasons in Tempe in April. In an e-mail to SwimSwam at the time of his departure, Bradshaw indicated he was not retiring from coaching, just from his position at ASU.

Bradshaw was the CSCAA Diving Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2005 and was named to the Team USA coaching staff for the 2013 FINA World Championships.

The school, however, told SwimSwam that the program is not being cut and that it intends to hire a new head coach “as soon as [it] can after things return to normal.” According to public records, on 2019, Bradshaw’s salary was $82,782 while head coach Bob Bowman‘s was $250,000, and associate head coach Rachel Stratton-Mills made $84,000.

While the swimming side of the Sun Devils’ swim and dive program has been making progress since Bowman took over in 2015, ASU’s only swim and dive national titles in the last 20 years came from one of Bradshaw’s divers, Finnish Olympian Joona Puhaka. The four-time NCAA champion won the NCAA title in the 1m in 2003, the 3m in 2004, and both the 1m and the 3m in 2005.

Only one diver, senior Youssef Selim (an Olympian for Egypt), competed for Arizona State across both the men’s and women’s 2020 Pac-12 Championships. He placed second on the 1-meter board, fourth on platform and eighth on the 1-meter board. In 2019, he won both the 1-meter and platform, becoming the first Pac-12 men’s diver since 2015 to take home championships in two events in a single year. Selim has one year of school left and is training for the Tokyo Olympics.

Mara Aiacoboae won the Pac-12 women’s championship in platform dive in 2017 and 2018, while only Kaellgren competed for ASU on the women’s side last season.

Leave a Reply

14 Comment threads
36 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
32 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Why lie? LOL Arizona State looks stupid. Just own it if that’s what’s taking place.


I believe they did exactly that. They said they intend to hire a diving coach when things return to normal. Why would they hire a diving coach right now when they have zero income and are facing the high likelihood of a cancelled football season? You need a head coach to run the program, any other vacant coaching positions are optional until they figure out how much income they are going to be working with in the next school year. This is not a “swimming vs. divining” thing, it is about saving the program in total.

GA Boy

I guess they don’t ever want to win a national championship.


You mean like Cal?

Texas A&M Swim Fan

Uhhh… where have you been hiding lately 🤔? Cal has a national championship “under their belt” (very recently actually). Give me the year that ASU last won one (& I’m not a Cal fan (which is obvious by my moniker )). I’m in no hurry so look real hard for that date.


Yes, it was sarcasm…… I am not sure how you missed that but I hope this provides clarification. See, what I was doing was I took their comment of “I guess they don’t ever want to win a National Championship” (which they were referring to not having diving means no National Championship) and then I mentioned Cal who obviously has won without divers. Which was my way of stating that you can win can National Championship without divers.

Are you all caught up now?


Cal won the men’s title last year without scoring divers. They had two divers in attendance for competition at the men’s meet (Connor Callahan and Johnny Robinson), with Callahan as a second alternate in one of the events. Cal women had a scoring diver in Phoebe Lamay, who placed 15th on springboard.


Please see note above about sarcasm.


No insight, but I’d assume bowman doesn’t want to spend scholarships and roster spots on divers


Do we know if this was even his decision?


You don’t bring in Bob Bowman, pay him that much, and not make it his decision.


I didn’t know if this was a temporary Covid-19 budget decision or something else.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

Read More »