Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Three-time Olympic coach and PBS Professor of Practice Jeffrey Huber wins USA Diving's 2013 National Diving Coach of the Year Award

Former US Olympic coach and current Psychological and Brain Sciences Professor of Practice Jeffrey Huber may have put his coaching career behind him, but he is still winning awards. At a special award ceremony on December 20 in Austin, Texas, at the USA Diving Winter National Championships, Huber will receive the 2013 National Diving Coach of the Year Award, which follows the success of his team at the 2013 National Diving Championship. This is the thirteenth time he has won the award since 1998.

Insofar as the award is based on his team’s performance at the 2013 national competition, Huber insists, "It is really their award as much as it is mine."

Huber’s Indiana Diving team won the overall team championship title at the 2013 AT&T National Diving Championships. The IU men's team won the men's team title and the women's team finished third as a team. Four of Huber's athletes represented Team USA in international competitions in 2013, including Amy Cozad, who competed for Team USA at the2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

Cozad, now an assistant diving coach at Florida State University, gives us a glimpse into Huber's coaching style and the strategy behind his success. "He has absolute confidence in the abilities of his divers," she explains, "and instills this confidence in them. Within my first week at IU he pulled me into his office and said if you do everything I tell you, you will be in the 2012 Olympics." (He was not far off. At the 2012 Olympic trials, Cozad came in third, but only the top two divers made the Olympic team. She competed in nearly every other international diving event while being coached by Huber at Indiana University.)

He would also recreate the conditions, psychological and otherwise, of a competition, in their everyday practice and training. As Cozad explained, "He always said that because competition and practice are so different, you need to consider how you will be thinking under the stress of competition and prepare yourself for those circumstances."

Huber was head diving coach at IU from 1989 to 2013. He received the highest national and international honors and awards for his coaching, including three-time US Olympic Coach, USOC National Coach of the Year, NCAA Diving Coach of the Year, Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year for the men's and women's teams almost every year between 1992 and 2013, and four-time winner of the US National Diving Championship Coach of Excellence Award.

Huber is especially proud of the most recent award. “Coming at the end of a 37-year career, it means a great deal to me. It tells me that I finished my career as I started it, by giving 100% effort to my athletes, my profession, and my university.”

This spring Huber will be teaching a PBS course on the psychology of human performance, which will explore the application of psychological theories to elite-level athletic performance and other types of motor-learning and performance, such as dance, theatre, physical education, and physical therapy. Huber will also be teaching Introductory Psychology.

In the above photo: Back row, left to right: Jeffrey Huber, John Wingfield, Andrew Hull, Danton Rogers, Conor Murphy, Casey Johnson. Front row: Chris Heaton, Amy Cozad, Kate Hillman, Zach Cooper, Toby Stanley, Michael Mosca, and Darian Schmidt

Read more about the award at USA Diving: http://www.usadiving.org/whats-new/2013/11/usa-diving-announces-annual-award-winners/

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