Former Pirate Rob Derr Named Diving Coach At James Madison
June 21, 2006
HARRISONBURG, Va. - Rob Derr, a former record-setting athlete at East Carolina University, has been named the head diving coach for both the men's and women's swimming and diving programs at James Madison University.
"I'm extremely excited to take this first step in my college coaching career," said Derr. "Upon my interview visit, I fell in love with the campus, was impressed with the enthusiasm of the athletics program and now greatly look forward to becoming a Duke. Diving has always been a major part of my life. I love being around the pool, and I love to coach."
Derr set four ECU diving records before his collegiate competitive career was hampered by injuries. As a sophomore in 2003-04, Derr set the varsity record for one-meter (six dive), three-meter (11 dives) and platform dives. His first school record came during his freshman campaign on the one-meter (11 dives) board. He was named the "Outstanding Rookie Swimmer" at ECU in 2002-03 after setting four freshman records.
He served as a student coach for the Pirates while recovering from two shoulder surgeries, the last coming in the Fall of 2005. He did work his way back into competitive shape in time to dive for the Pirates in the Conference-USA Men's Invitational last February in Houston, Texas, finishing as high as third on the one-meter board.
Derr gained coaching experience in his hometown while working from 2001-2003 with the Bloomsburg (Pa.) Area Diving Club and Summer Swim Team and its membership of 7- to 18-year olds. He independently coached all coed divers while jointly coaching swimmers, coordinated and ran dual and championship meets, and maintained pool facilities. He has also been on the deck as a meet official for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association dual, league and district meets since 2001.
Derr merited multiple academics honors (Chancellor's List, Dean's List, Honor Roll) en route to earning a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in communications at ECU in 2005. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in English, which he anticipates completing this Fall.
"It is my strong belief that for athletes to succeed in the pool or on the boards, they have to be able to excel in the classroom," said Derr. "I will strive to bring not only athletic excellence but also academic excellence to the team."
JMU is a member of the NCAA Division I Colonial Athletic Association. The men's program has won a league-best nine CAA titles and finished fourth in the 10-team championship meet this past season. The women own five CAA crowns and finished fourth among the 11 teams entered in the 2006 CAA title meet.