Florida Diving Coach Donnie Craine Killed In a Boating Crash Off The Coast Of Florida

A boat crash in Florida was reported in Jug Creek in Bokeelia. Two boats collided, injuring three and killing Donnie Craine, the diving coach at the University of Florida. The crash happened just after noon on Thursday, April 24th.

As a competitor, Craine, dove his way into the A final at the NCAA Championships several times and was a 13 time finalist at US Nationals. Craine, 61, has been with Florida for the last 30 years as the head diving coach and had 8 years of experience prior to coaching at Florida.

Authorities say that they do not believe drugs or alcohol to be a factor in the crash. Donnie Craine was on a boat with one other passenger. Four passengers were on the other boat.

Craine is survived by his wife of 36 years, Mindy, and their three children – Keith (31), Christopher (30), and Stephanie (26).

“Donnie Craine’s reputation speaks for itself. He has shown the ability to craft top-level divers, and to maintain that success through hard work and discipline,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy says. “Coach Craine is, without question, one of the elite diving coaches in the country.”

“Our thoughts are with Mindy, their family and all who had a chance to know and be coached by him,” said Athletics Director Jeremy Foley. “This is such sad news about Donnie Craine. Donnie loved being a Gator and spent his career here coaching our men’s and women’s diving athletes. He will be missed.”

The Donnie Craine File (www.gatorzone.com)

Birthdate: Nov. 8, 1952
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Education: B.S. in Physical Education, University of Michigan, 1976

Coaching Career
Diving Head Coach, Florida, 1976-81
Diving Head Coach, Arkansas, 1984-85
Diving Head Coach, Louisiana State, 1987-89
Diving Coach, Pan American Games, 1991
Diving Coach, World University Games, 1993
Diving Head Coach, Annual Dive Canada, 1995
Diving Head Coach, Florida, 1989-present

Career Highlights
§ 2011 SEC Women’s Diving Coach of the Year
§ 2010 SEC Women’s Diving Coach of the Year
§ 2009 FINA World Championships U.S. Diving Judge
§ 2008 Junior World Championships U.S. Diving Judge
§ 1998 SEC Women’s Diving Coach of the Year
§ 1998 Knoxville News-Sentinel SEC Women’s Diving Coach of the Year
§ 1995 U.S. Dive Canada Team Coach in Quebec, Canada
§ 1993 U.S. World University Games Team Coach in Buffalo, N.Y.
§ 1991 U.S. Pan American Team Coach in Havana, Cuba
§ 1987-89 SEC Women’s Diving Coach of the Year
§ 1988 SEC Men’s Diving Coach of the Year
§ 1985 NCAA Diving Coach of the Year

Southeastern Conference or NCAA Champions Coach by Donnie Craine
Southeastern Conference Champions
1980, Chris Snode, UF
1984, Mike Marmann, UA
1988, Jeff Reinhotlz, LSU
1998, Heather Lawrence, UF
2000, Robyn Grimes, UF
2003, Zach Wilcox, UF
2010, Kara Salamone, UF

1979, Chris Snode, UF
1980, Chris Snode, UF
1985, Ellen McGrath, UA
1987, Alison Maisch, LSU
1988, Alison Maisch, LSU
1989, Alison Maisch, LSU
2001, Robyn Grimes, UF
2011, Monica Dodso, UF

1989, Kelli Hill, LSU
1996, Jeff Nichols, UF
2010, Kara Salamone, UF
2011, Monica Dodson, UF

Five NCAA champions:
· Chris Snode, Florida’s first individual national champion, who won the 3-meter in 1978
· Alison (Maisch) Brothers, the 1989 one-meter winner
· While at Arkansas, Craine coached two divers to three NCAA titles in 1985. Ronnie Meyer won both the men’s 1-meter and 3-meter events, while Robin (Ford) Ballint claimed the women’s 3-meter title.


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Tom Romano

What a tragic accident. We got to know him a bit throught the years and always had a smile on his face. He will be sorely missed. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the whole Gator Nation Swim and Dive team.

Very sad accident keep Florida gators in our prayers


This is a completely preventable death.
Safety is NOT an accident.
Limited speed zones must be enacted and rigorously enforced.
A tragedy for all. Condolences to the family.

Sam Kendricks

My thoughts and heart go out to Donnie’s family, the Florida Swimming and Diving Team and the US Diving family as they deal with this tragedy. Donnie always carried a smile and was always very nice to deal with. He will be greatly missed.

About Tony Carroll

Tony Carroll

The writer formerly known as "Troy Gennaro", better known as Tony Carroll, has been working with SwimSwam since April of 2013. Tony grew up in northern Indiana and started swimming in 2003 when his dad forced him to join the local swim team. Reluctantly, he joined on the condition that …

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