Already named the Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year for the women’s season, Wenbo Chen received a share of that honor on the men’s side on Tuesday. The Golden Gophers’ mentor is Co-Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year along with Ohio State’s Justin Sochor.
Chen’s group sent four men to the NCAA Championships, tied for the most of any team in the country. 2016 was the second consecutive year in which four Gophers qualified. Matt Barnard and Manny Pollard each collected one All-America and one All-America Honorable Mention laurel at the national meet. Dylan Zoe and Alan LeBlang also competed.
Barnard won gold on the 3-meter springboard at the Big Ten Championships. He was the Gopher men’s first individual conference champion in two years. Pollard earned silver on the platform and bronze on the 1-meter board. Minnesota’s divers made nine “A” final appearances and three “B” final appearances at the Big Ten Championships. Four were “A” finalists on the platform alone.
This is Chen’s first time being named Men’s Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year. He has also earned that accolade five times on the women’s side, including once at Purdue.
Swimming news courtesy of Minnesota Swimming & Diving.