Press Release courtesy of SMU Athletics
Jim Stillson, who spent over three decades as head coach of the SMU men’s and women’s diving teams, was honored with USA Diving’s Phil Boggs Award at the annual awards banquet. The event is held during the Winter National Championships in which Mustang diver Bryce Klein is competing.
The Phil Boggs Award honors those who have achieved individual excellence in diving and have given back a part of themselves to assure the sport’s continued success.
While at SMU, Stillson mentored 21 divers to a total of 89 conference championships, leading him to 16 conference Coach of the Year honors. Four of Stillson’s divers went on to win eight NCAA Championships, while 20 of his student-athletes have earned 71 All-America honors. Three divers earned NCAA Diver of the Year Awards and 10 won U.S. National Championships.
His successful coaching ability in 1999 earned him that year’s United States Olympic Committee Diving Coach of the Year award. In 1992, Stillson received the Mike Malone Memorial Award, given for outstanding contributions to diving by the national governing body of the sport. In 2015, Stillson was honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame with the Paragon Award, which is presented annually to individuals or organizations for outstanding contributions to aquatics.
Stillson is currently a member of the UANA Technical Diving Committee and is on the United States Diving Foundation Board of Trustees. He has been a member of USA Diving’s Board of Directors and has served on the rules committee, the senior diving committee, the judges certification committee and many others. He served as team leader for the 2007 Pan American Games and the 2015 World Championships teams. He has coached three Olympians and was named NCAA Coach of the Year three times. He was an NCAA All-American while competing for the Ohio State University.
A familiar award for the Mustangs, Janet Ely earned the honor in 2016. Ely competed for the Mustangs from 1978-80 and was inducted into the SMU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016. Following a successful collegiate career that saw Ely win multiple AIAW National Championships and earn All-America honors, she became the first female from SMU to represent the United States at the Olympics.