Indiana Adds Former Michigan State Diving Coach Eric Best as Volunteer Assistant

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Photo Courtesy: Indiana Swim & Dive Twitter (@IndianaSwimDive)

Indiana University on Thursday announced the hiring of Eric Best as a volunteer assistant diving coach.

Best spent 20 seasons at Michigan State as the head men’s and women’s diving coach, leading perennially one of the conference’s best programs. Best mentored numerous NCAA qualifiers and U.S. Olympic Trials competitors with the Spartans, earning Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year honors in 2006. He also coached the Spartan Diving Club.

“Eric is going to be a tremendous addition to the team,” Indiana head diving coach Drew Johansen said in a university statement. “His knowledge and experience are unmatched.”

Michigan State is dropping its men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs at the end of the academic year. Despite a robust alumni effort to save the programs and several rounds of fundraising by the athletic department, it has remained recalcitrant in rescinding the cuts, despite publicly categorizing them as primarily a matter of money.

Among Best’s accomplishments in his final Michigan State class was having senior Amanda Ling win the Elite 90 award at NCAAs.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Drew and the entire Indiana diving team,” Best said. “I feel honored to be a part of the great tradition of Indiana Diving.”

Indiana’s diving program is in fine form, with Andrew Capobianco winning the NCAA 3-meter title for the second straight installment of the championship. Capobianco was named the Big Ten’s men’s diver of the year.

Before being hired by his alma mater in East Lansing, Best spent 11 seasons as the diving coach at West Bloomfield High School in Michigan, coaching 26 states qualifiers and two All-Americans. He coached for a year at Oakland Community College in the early 1980s.

A 1982 graduate of Michigan State, Best has been part of the MSU Diving Camp since 1980, supervising technical and logistical aspects for nearly 40 years. Best also served as a sergeant in both the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard.

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