Rich MacDonald completed his fourth year as the diving coach at the University of Virginia in 2012-13. In four seasons, he has seen 18 divers – 10 men and eight women – compete in the NCAA Zone Championships.
In 2012-13, MacDonald and the UVa divers had a banner year as all nine divers qualified for the NCAA Zone Championships. JB Kolod qualified for the NCAA Championships and posted the highest Cavalier diving finish ever at NCAAs with a 12th-place finish on the 3-meter boards. Two months later, Kolod also finaled on 3m at the U.S. World Championship Trials in Tallahassee, Fla. Kolod broke the school records on 1m and 3m, while three different women broke UVa records in 2012-13 (Becca Corbett – 1m, Katie Warburg – 3m, Laura Gartrell – platform).
In 2011-12, MacDonald tutored Briggy Imbriglia to an NCAA Zone Championship on the platform and a ticket to the NCAA Championships, where he finished 13th. Imbriglia, along with JB Kolod and Laura Gartrell competed at the NCAA Zone meet.
In his first season with the Cavaliers in 2009-10, MacDonald mentored three men’s divers – Alex D’Ambrosio, Imbriglia, and Kevin Moore – to the NCAA Zone Championships, where Virginia finished second in team competition in a field of 23 from the Northeast. Imbriglia highlighted the field after he finaled in platform competition at the 2010 ACC Championships and went on placed second at the Zone meet.
Then in his second season (2010-11), MacDonald guided four divers – the most in school history – to the NCAA Zone Meet. Imbriglia joined Nathan Parker as the two men’s competitors while a pair of freshmen women – Alex Leinroth and Kelly Lloyd – represented the UVa women.
MacDonald joined the Cavalier program after serving in a similar capacity at East Carolina for nine seasons. He was the first full-time diving coach there and guided at least one ECU diver to NCAA Zones in eight of his nine years, including the first finalists on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards in school history. MacDonald also helped multiple Conference USA Freshman Divers of the Year and multiple conference finalists.
Prior to his stint with the Pirates, MacDonald coached at his alma mater, Rhode Island, from 1997-2000, where he mentored two Atlantic-10 conference champions and three NCAA Zone qualifiers.
MacDonald also has a wealth of club coaching experience. While in Greenville, N.C., he started the age group team called the Emerald City Dive Club. With that squad, MacDonald coached four North Carolina state finalists and one North Carolina state champion. He also served as a volunteer assistant with L’Air Bergere diving team in Philadelphia for three summers. In 2000 L’Air Bergere finished first at the Junior Olympic national meet.
MacDonald also started and is the head coach of the Wahoo Diving Club in Charlottesville.
A native of Fort Washington, Pa., MacDonald was a member of the 1993 state championship swimming and diving team at Upper Dublin High School. He went on to coach the Fort Washington swimming and diving team for six years.
MacDonald earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science and education from Rhode Island in 1997.