AUSTIN, Texas, July 9. IN a move that will send shockwaves through the NCAA Diving community, Texas has confirmed to Swimming World that two-time NCAA champion Michael Hixon has elected to transfer. Swimming World has also learned that Hixon intends on heading to the Indiana Hoosiers to train with his current synchro partner Darian Schmidt. He hasn’t been officially accepted to the program as of yet, but it’s likely only a matter of time.
This is a huge coup for IU head diving coach Drew Johansen, who has been charged with pushing the IU Diving back to the same heights of the Hobie Billingsley era after an incredible span of time under former head coach Dr. Jeff Huber. Johansen was unavailable for comment as he is currently coaching with Team USA at the FINA Diving World Cup in Shanghai, China, and will not be back in the office until July 22.
Prior to Indiana, Johansen spent six seasons as the head diving coach at Duke University and was responsible for the amazing rise of Nick McCrory. In March 2013, McCrory won his third NCAA title on platform, matching his titles from 2010 and 2011. He also finished second in the one-meter and three-meter.
This past year, Hixon kept Texas in the team title hunt with his huge victories in the one-meter and three-meter diving events as just a freshman. He finished 2014 as the NCAA Championships Diver of the Meet, and is already a three-time All-American.
Prior to joining Texas, Hixon placed second on the three-meter synchro with Schmidt at the 2013 AT&T National Diving Championships, and will now be able to train daily with his synchro partner. That’s a big bonus for USA Diving as well, as the organization has pushed for synchro partners to be in the same training location to better compete with the dominant Chinese force in diving.
Johansen is compiling quite a roster of both collegiate and post-grad divers in Bloomington. On top of the graduated Schmidt sticking around to dive synchro with Hixon, McCrory also now calls Bloomington his home base for training. Additionally, Australian Olympian James Connor is part of the incoming class of freshmen for Johansen at IU.