Former SEC champion diver and USA National Team member Tori Lamp Wood has been hired as the first full-time diving coach in Liberty swimming & diving history, it was announced today by Head Coach Jake Shellenberger.
“Assistant Coach Jessica Barnes and I are excited to welcome Tori Lamp Wood as our first official diving coach in program history,” Shellenberger said. “Voted the 2013 NCAA Division I Diver of the Year while at Tennessee and with a plethora of elite international experience behind her, Tori is the perfect candidate to build our diving program here at Liberty and take it to the next level.”
Shellenberger added, “Tori is a proven coach and has an extensive list of mentors from which to draw wisdom and expertise, having competed and coached at the highest levels during her time in Knoxville. With our new natatorium coming online in November and featuring a separate well and full platform, the sky is the limit for our diving program and we are excited to see the results we will produce. More importantly, Tori is a fantastic fit for Liberty, and approaches the sport of diving with a servant’s heart. We are thrilled to welcome Tori to the mountain!”
For the last two years (2014-15 and 2015-16), Wood has been a diving coach at Homestead High School in Mequon, Wis. In addition, she has spent nearly three years as a gymnastics coach at Lafleur’s Gymnastics Club. Wood served as a diving coach for Tennessee Diving Club in Knoxville from 2009 through 2014, concurrently with her All-American diving career at Tennessee.
“I’m excited and thankful for the opportunity to be the diving coach at Liberty University,” Wood said. “I look forward to watching the student-athletes grow and develop their skills in and out of the pool. The new natatorium is a great addition to an already beautiful campus and will allow the student-athletes to improve and be highly competitive in conference meets and in the NCAA.”
While competing at Tennessee, she won platform diving at the SEC Championships three times (2012-14). Additionally, she earned seven All-America awards, with a pair of NCAA national runner-up finishes. Wood was named SEC Diver of the Year in 2012 and 2013, while earning CSCAA National Diver of the Year honors as a junior.
She also competed for Team USA from 2008 through 2010 and 2012 through 2015. Highlights from her international career include participating at the World Championships in both 2008 and 2013. She was a Junior National Champion in 2008 before winning the title of 2009 High School National Champion.
Wood’s hiring, along with the opening of the Liberty Natatorium, will allow Liberty to field a highly-competitive contingent of divers for its swimming & diving program. This will augment the program, which has posted six top-two CCSA finishes in seven years, including a conference championship in 2014.
The Liberty Natatorium, in addition to a nine-lane, 50-meter pool with a movable bulkhead, will also have a separate diving well. The 17-foot deep diving well includes 1- and 3-meter springboards and a three-column tower, featuring 1, 3, 5, 7.5 and 10-meter platforms.