Chris Colwill is a two time Olympian who began diving right here at BSAC when he was only five years old. After high school, he went on to become one of the most successful divers in NCAA history and will now return to his alma mater as Georgia University Diving Coach.
Out of the thirteen years Chris spent training at BSAC, his favorite memories growing up revolve around the friendships he formed along the way.
“I have a lot of memories here, but I think the ones I remember most are playing with kids from other sports camps” said Colwill. “BSAC is phenomenal in the way that you can share the campus with all its members.”
Chris made a huge impact at BSAC during his five years of coaching and is confident in the success of the program moving forward. Childhood friend and assistant dive coach, Nicole Russell, will be stepping up to lead the dive team as Chris Colwill moves back to Georgia.
“We share the same vision for what we want out of the program here and how we want it to continue,” said Colwill. “We know what works and what doesn’t. She has already developed a great rapport with the team. Having that relationship is definitely going to be helpful, and not only that, she is a fantastic coach.”
Over the years Chris has learned a great deal about understanding his students and implementing unique teaching methods. Dive students aren’t the only ones growing from this process, the team makes him think about ways to constantly go the extra mile to reach goals.
“There’s nothing better than to watch somebody feel excitement and gain confidence after they learn a jump they thought they couldn’t do,” said Colwill.
Even with starting this exciting new chapter at the University of Georgia, Colwill knows it’s hard to leave such a close-knit family behind.
“I told my team big changes can be scary, but that’s okay because it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing,” said Colwill. “It could be a great thing! Nicole and I want to see the best out of everyone. If they continue to stay positive and enjoy diving, they can do whatever they set themselves to achieve.”
Although we will all miss having Chris on the pool deck, the BSAC family is so proud of everything he has been able to accomplish throughout his life to reach this moment. His national championship collection began at only 10 years old at U.S. Junior Nationals while diving at BSAC.
“Chris has been an institution at BSAC and in the Brandon community over the past 20 plus years,” BSAC CEO Chuck Burgess said. “He has definitely left his mark not only as a diver and coach, but as a mentor, community leader and difference-maker to so many children and families at BSAC. We want to wish him nothing but the success he deserves as he starts a new journey in his dream job.”
His well-documented college diving career includes three NCAA individual diving titles, 12 All-America honors, 1- and 3- meter springboard crowns in 2006, and a 1-meter title in 2018. Chris Colwill found himself in Georgia University history as the first male student athlete to win three individual NCAA championships. He went on to collect five individual conference titles at SEC, and became SEC Diver of the Year in 2005, 2006, and 2008.
Chris later represented the United States in Beijing at the 2008 Olympic Games, then again in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Earlier this year, he was also inducted into the Georgia University Circle of Honor, a prestigious award based on performance and conduct.
“I just want to do the best that I can as a coach,” said Colwill. “I’m obviously well known for my diving career, but I am hoping that I can work just as hard to make a name for myself in the coaching world. I want to follow in Dan Laak’s (former UGA coach and current USA Diving High Performance coach) footsteps and treat the athletes the way he treated me. When it was time to compete, he was my coach, when it was time to have fun he was my friend.”
Chris hopes his divers remember things he’s taught them beyond the board like treating people with respect and helping out a teammate.
“If somebody puts in 100 miles, I’ll put in 200 for that person, and that’s what I want everyone to remember me by, I guess,” said Colwill.
On behalf of everyone at BSAC, we would like to thank you for impacting the lives of your friends, students, and team members during your time at our organization. We wish you the very best of luck on your exciting new venture at Georgia University.
“I might be a little bit busy but I am going to try to find some time to play golf,” said Colwill. “I’m a foodie as well, and they’ve got a lot of great places to eat. You can’t hit all the restaurants in 30 days even though I will try.”
Written By: Carli Walko
BSAC Director of Marketing