Cal hires Pei Lin as the new head diving coach
Lin competed collegiately at Miami (Ohio) from 2015-18 where she thrice placed 2nd in 3-meter springboard at the NCAA
Cal Diving has found its new head coach. Pei Lin, a quickly rising star in collegiate diving coaching, will fill the coaching vacancy at Cal. Lin has been the head coach at the University of South Dakota since early 2022.
Cal had originally hired Oleg Andriyuk last summer before he stepped down during the fall for “health reasons”. A recent University of Texas graduate, Murphy Bromberg, served as the Interim Diving Coach this past season.
Cal Men’s Swimming and Diving was able to win the 2022 NCAA team championship without any divers. Cal Women’s Swimming and Diving also did not have any diving representatives at the NCAA.
Pei Lin, a three-time NCAA runner-up and a Chinese national champion, has been named head diving coach at California, men's and women's swimming & diving head coaches David Durden and Teri McKeever announced Thursday.
"I'm honored and grateful to have this opportunity to be part of the Cal men's and women's swimming & diving teams," Lin said. "I am thrilled to be able to work with and learn from the coaches and student-athletes. As a coach, my goal is to help student-athletes build strong character and inspire them to always dream big, to go far and to achieve excellence."
Lin most recently served as head diving coach at the University of South Dakota for the 2021-22 season, which followed two years as a graduate assistant diving coach at Ohio State. She has also spent time working as an assistant coach with the California Diving Academy in nearby San Ramon and with the Guangdong Diving Team in Guangzhou, China.
Lin competed collegiately at Miami (Ohio) from 2015-18, where she was a four-time MAC Diver of the Year. She captured seven MAC championships – four on the 3-meter springboard and three on the 1-meter board – and won six NCAA zone titles. At the NCAA Championships, she placed second on 3-meter three years in a row, took third on 1-meter as a sophomore in 2016 and totaled seven top-10 finishes.
Lin, who set Miami records on both boards, scored a MAC meet record 338.90 points on 1-meter in 2016, while she set the MAC record on 3-meter with a score of 409.70 at the 2015 NCAA Championships.
"Pei brings a passion for diving and the coaching profession," McKeever said. "She had a stellar career as a student-athlete with international experience and training. I believe she is the perfect person to build our diving program."
"Pei's high standard of performance will fit seamlessly into our tradition of success at Cal and I'm thrilled to have her leading the development of our diving program," Durden said. "She has a bright future ahead following an impressive diving career and early successes as a coach Our coaches, staff and student-athletes look forward to welcoming her to Bear Territory."
Given the success of Cal Swimming and a still quite new facility in Legends Aquatic Center, which opened in the fall of 2016, one would have expected this Cal job to be a decent one despite the lack of historical success in diving at Cal. Cal Diving has been hampered for a long time by the lack of a platform diving facility on campus prior to the opening of Legends. In going with Pei Lin, Cal has opted for a very young coach who still needs to prove her ability to build a successful collegiate program.
Between Lin’s own personal recent successes in the NCAA and what could be a pivotal connection to the Chinese National Team (who dominates the diving events at the Olympics), one could be optimistic about how she might do well on the recruiting front1. While there are not too many examples of successful female diving coach who is coaching men, this is also largely due to the lack of female head coaches. A quick glance at the South Dakota roster shows that she did coach men this past spring.
Lin began her coaching career as a graduate assistant at Ohio State in 2019. In two years with the Buckeyes, she coached three Big Ten champions with six divers qualifying for the NCAA Championships. During her one season at South Dakota, she coached Stella Fairbanks to a Summit League title on 1-meter. Lin also served as an assistant coach at the California Diving Academy, managing a team of 40 divers, from 2018-19, and was a volunteer coach in Guangzhou, China from 2015-17.
Lin grew up in Shantou City of Guangdong Province in China. She began diving at age 13.
Lin earned her bachelor's degree in public health from Miami in 2018 and a master of sport coaching from Ohio State in 2021.
One does not need to look too far to find a young dynamic coach finding quick success early in their coaching career. For Cal, Meagan Owusu has found quick success (and this was also with the program not having any scholarships for the first few years) in Beach Volleyball. Women’s gymnastics also has some young former Olympians building solid programs, for example, USA Olympian Jordyn Wieber at Arkansas (who finished behind Cal in the NCAA Norman Regional Final).
All it takes for Pei Lin to help out Cal swimming is to find one diver of each gender who can finish in the top-16 in each of the three diving events but also has one specialty where (s)he can make the top-8. I do not think it is unrealistic to expect some diving points by 2024, if not 2023.
Welcome to Cal, coach Lin! GO BEARS!
I guess I do have a reputation as the resident WFC optimist