Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington, a successful athlete on both the collegiate and international levels, has translated that athletic excellence into a high degree of proficiency in the coaching ranks. Parrington has received countless honors within every conceivable realm of the diving community and begins his 21st season coaching Vol divers.
Parrington arrived on Rocky Top in 1990 and got right down to business. In the first decade of his tenure at Tennessee, he coached Vol divers to 17 Southeastern Conference championships. His wealth of experience and teaching ability was displayed in the successes of his athletes.
The Harare, Zimbabwe, native owns an impressive resume. The SEC has named Parrington Men's Diving Coach of the Year (1994, '96, '98, '99, 2000, '01) and twice the SEC Women's Coach of the Year (1997, 2003). Since arriving on The Hill, Parrington has produced 73 men's and women's All-America selections, six NCAA champions and 29 SEC champions. His divers have combined to break school records 83 times, and he has coached eight USA Diving national champions.
At the 2011 SEC Championships, Michael Wright became the fifth Vol to win the 1-meter diving event during the Parrington era.
Tennessee divers during the Parrington era have competed at the Olympics, World Championships, World University Games, World Diving Cup, Pan American Games, the Commonwealth Games and the African Games a combined 25 times. In addition to international success, Parrington's divers have earned SEC diver of the year honors 10 times and five times he coached the SEC's freshman diver of the year-- including current UT diver Ryan Helms. During the 1999 and 2000 SEC championships meets, Parrington coached Gabi Chereches to an SEC Commissioners Trophy, awarded to the swimmer or diver with the highest point total at the meet.
Parrington coached Zimbabwe's Olympic team in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as well as the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Other Olympic service includes two stints (1998, 2008) as a judge at the U.S. Olympic diving trials and a selector for the USA Olympic team selection camp hosted at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center. He also served the United States' diving team as a coach for the 1997 World Cup qualifying and championships rounds and was rewarded with the USA Diving Coaches Award of Excellence.
Before he arrived in Knoxville, Parrington spent seven years as the head diving coach at his alma mater the University of Houston.
As a student-athlete, Parrington competed in the 1980 Moscow Olympicsrepresenting Zimbabwe in both he three-meter and platform events. Parrington also played for Zimbabwe's national diving and water polo teams.
In August 2008, former UT head football coach Phillip Fulmer endowed $250,000 for the Dave Parrington Tennessee Diving Scholarship. The gift was a token of gratitude for Parrington's many years coaching Fulmer's daughter and former Lady Vol diver Brittany.
In the summer of 2009, Parrington married UT swimming and diving massage therapist Marie Wilson. She has been a part of the program for nine years and is a Knoxville, Tenn., native. She has three children Jeff, Brent and Derek and five grandchildren Emily, Zachary, Camille, Blake and Maggie.
|The Parrington File|
|Born:||July 28, 1955 in Wallasey, England|
|Education:||Mount Pleasant High School, Harare, Zimbabwe
University of Houston (1983)
|Athletic Career:|| 1980 Moscow Olympics (Three-meter and platform)
Member of Zimbabwe's national diving and water polo teams
|Coaching Career:|| University of Houston (head diving coach) 1983-1990
University of Tennessee (head diving coach) 1990-present