Redbirds' New Coach Dives In

July 14, 2005

NORMAL, Ill. - Three time NCAA all-American Tom Davidson has recently joined Illinois State's swimming and diving team, as the head diving coach for the 2005-06 season. Along with coaching, Davidson will be furthering his education at Illinois State, pursuing a master's degree in business.

Davidson, who competed for Indiana, was a Big Ten diving champion for four years and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 1997. He has been an assistant coach and head coach at the high school level in Minnesota and Connecticut. He coached North St. Paul High School in Minnesota to one of its best state finishes. Illinois State will be Davidson's first collegiate experience.

"I want to step away from competing and try something else," Davidson said. "I am excited about getting into coaching at the college level. I like Illinois State's tradition; and I know some of the coaches, which makes it easier to adjust."

With his experience as a diver and a coach, Davidson is optimistic for the upcoming season.

"I want to introduce the girls to new dives and difficulty levels to produce higher finishes," Davidson said. "The team has a lot of potential, and I would like to improve upon that."

Illinois State head coach Steve Paska is encouraged by Davidson's experience.

"We were fortunate to find Tom with the lateness of the hire," Coach Paska said. "He shows passion and a good work ethic. I am looking forward to the relationships that will be formed."

Davidson and the women's diving team will start their season on September 30 with the Red/White Scrimmage.