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Thursday April 24, 2014Florida Men's and Women's Diving Coach Donnie Craine Dies Today in Boating Accident

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- University of Florida head men’s and women’s diving coach Donnie Craine, 61, passed away this morning in a boating accident off the coast of Bokeelia, Fla.


“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.”


“You’ll never meet a nicer guy than Donnie Craine,” Head Coach Gregg Troy said. “He was caring for not just the athletes he worked with, but for everyone he came in touch with. He was a tremendous family man. This is a great loss to everyone.”


Thirty years of Craine’s 37-year coaching career were spent with the Gators. He started his Gator coaching career in 1976 after graduating from the University of Michigan. Craine left after five years and then coached at Schroeder YMCA in Wisconsin, Arkansas and Louisiana State before returning to Florida in 1989.


A five-time Southeastern Conference Diving Coach of the Year at Florida, Craine coached five NCAA champions, including Florida’s first – Chris Snode in 1978 (3-meter springboard).


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


Please check back to for updates on service information.


The Donnie Craine File

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 Dodson, 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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