Senior Diver Michael Muscari
Jan. 29, 2010
Megan Stinnett and Tom Satkowiak
Four and a half years ago, when Michael Muscari walked into the Student Aquatic Center and looked around, he didn't feel it. The freshman diver didn't feel the generations of former Vol swimmers whose spirits are still in the rafters.
But now, if you ask the Morristown, Tenn., native about those rafters--albeit the venue has changed to the sparkling new Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center--you'll notice an immediate gleam in his eyes.
"When I first came here, I didn't think anything of signing the rafters-- it didn't mean anything to me then," Muscari said. "Now, it means that my name is here. It means that I've been here and people will go up there and read my name. Five years from now freshmen will walk in and see those signatures up there. They will see `Captain Michael Muscari' written up there and know what I have done. Hopefully they will take that and run with it and make this team better."
Speaking of getting better, Muscari has not only improved his diving over the years, he has exceeded Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington's expectations as well.
"I didn't expect for him to give as much as he's given to this program," Parrington said. "He's exceeded most of my expectations. He's improved over the years and he's stepped up and surprised a lot of people."
The senior diver scored in every Tennessee dual meet during his junior season and won the three-meter against both Virginia and Florida. He also claimed top honors in the platform event at the 2009 Allan Jones Invitational.
As for being remembered, Muscari hopes to be remembered as a diver making a huge impact on his team.
According to Parrington, "He's always given his all for the team, which says a lot about his character. He'll be remembered as a team guy who always gave his best effort every time out. Sometimes he didn't dive his best, but it was never for a lack of trying."
Trying to make an impact for the Vols during his senior year is now Muscari's primary focus.
After the last home meet of his career, he too will be able to ink his name in the rafters making him an everlasting part of Tennessee swimming and diving history.
"I know this is my last meet here as a Volunteer," Muscari said. "But I am still going to be a Vol--I'm always going to be a Vol."