Tom Stebbins enters his 15th season as the head coach of the UCLA women's diving team, a program that has had much success since his tenure in Westwood began. Before coming to UCLA, Stebbins served as Head Coach at Fordham University, where he coached two-time senior national qualifier Paul Delo, who won two Atlantic 10 titles each on the one-meter and three-meter. Stebbins also helped coach Delo to an undefeated record in the 1996-97 season.
Coach Stebbins' Background
The Stebbins Philosophy
Coach Stebbins believes, "We are all very fortunate to be part of the greatest athletic program in the country. How we choose to give back to that tradition should go well beyond the few moments each individual will spend competing in the Bruin Blue. Becoming a Bruin is just the beginning of a lifelong commitment to creating excellence in every facet of your life. As coaches, we are all here to enhance the early stages of that process, through our passion, dedication, and enthusiasm for the people whose lives we have the opportunity to touch."
On the Record
Coach Stebbins' sophomore campaign was just as successful as his freshman season. He guided Gosnell to her third and fourth consecutive Senior National meet and her first Senior National semifinal. Just as in his first year, he recruited an exceptional group of divers, including a Junior Nationals finalist and a Senior Nationals qualifier.
In his third season at UCLA, Stebbins helped coach the Bruins to the 2001 Team Pac-10 Championship. He guided senior Anne Baghramian to the NCAA Championships and a fourth-place finish on three-meter at the NCAA Zone E meet. Stebbins also coached Heidi Prosser and Regan Gosnell to the Senior National meet in the summer of 2001, where Gosnell finished in 12th place on the 10-meter platform.
In 2002, Stebbins' 4th season, for the first time during his tenure at UCLA, all of Stebbins' divers qualified for the NCAA Zone Championships. At Zones, Heidi Prosser qualified for the NCAA Championships, where she placed 21st on the three-meter springboard.
Stebbins' fifth season at the Bruins' helm, 2003, was very successful. For the second consecutive year, all of his divers qualified for the NCAA Zone Championships. There, senior Regan Gosnell placed fourth on the one-meter, fifth on three-meter and seventh on platform, qualifying for the NCAA Championships in all three events. At the NCAA Championships, Gosnell became Stebbins' first All-American diver, earning All-America recognition on platform (eighth) and three-meter (15th).
Three of Stebbins' divers found success at the 2003 Summer Nationals: Gosnell placed seventh on the platform. Janine Strack competed on platform, where she placed 28th. Paige Thompson, diving in her first Senior Nationals, advanced to the semifinals of the three-meter, placing 16th, and the quarterfinals of the one-meter, where she took 15th.
During the 2004 season, Stebbins coached sophomore Paige Thompson to an automatic berth at the NCAA Championships, where she finished 31st (3-meter) and 33rd (1-meter), respectively. Each of his divers finished in the top-16 at the Pac-10 Championships, helping the Bruins to a second-place conference finish.
In the summer of 2004, Stebbins coached Thompson to a sixth-place finish on three meter and a seventh-place finish on one meter at the U.S. Senior National Championships, earning her a spot on the Senior National Diving Team. He also coached Amanda Blong and Janine Strack to a sixth-place finish on the synchronized three-meter springboard at the Senior National Championships.
Also during the summer of `04, Stebbins led Regan Gosnell to a 15th place finish in the women's 10-meter platform event at the United States Diving Olympic Trials, held in St. Louis. Gosnell was the first female diver ever to represent UCLA at the Olympic Trials.
The 2004-05 season was another impressive year for the diving squad, as four divers qualified for the NCAA Zone E Championships and freshman Brittany Renfrow was named Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year.
The Bruin divers had five Top-10 finishes at the Zone meet, highlighted by Paige Thompson's seventh-place finish on the one-meter (520.55) and Amanda Blong's ninth-place finish on the three-meter (456.75). At Pac-10's, the divers posted six more top-10 performances: Blong (4th, 1M); Thompson (8th, 1M and 9th, 3M); Renfrow (8th, 3M); and Janine Strack (9th, Platform and 10th, 1M).
In the Spring of 2005, Renfrow showcased her enormous potential, placing 11th on the three-meter at the U.S. Open Championship in her first senior final as a Bruin. At the Senior National Championships, Renfrow placed sixth on the three-meter while Blong, co-captain in 2005-06, finished 13th and Thompson was 17th.
Stebbins and the Bruin divers had another successful year in the 05-06 season highlighted by freshman Marisa Samaniego's inclusion in the NCAA Championships. Samaniego earned Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year award (the second consecutive season a Bruin diver earned the honor) after an impressive first campaign at UCLA. Sara Clark and Tess Schofield were also named alternates for the NCAA Championships after a strong showing at the NCAA Zone E Championships. The group's victory at the Pac-10 Diving Championships was the second in the program's history (2001), helping swimming finish second in the overall championship and capped a very exciting NCAA season.
The hot streak continued in the spring and summer as Tess Schofield placed 7th in the Platform event at the U.S. Open Championships in April. In August 2006, the Bruins were represented in four out of five events at the Senior National Championships. Amanda Blong and Sara Clark finishing third in the Three Meter Synchronized Springboard event highlighted the meet for the Bruins. Blong also finished 10th on One Meter, while Schofield finished 15th on Platform and Samaniego finished 17th on One Meter and 24th on Three Meter to help the Bruins to a ninth-place team finish at the meet.
In the 2006-2007 season, the Bruin divers thrived with incredible success as Marisa Samaniego earned All-American honors on one-meter (sixth) and Tess Schofield notched honorable mention All-American honors with her 13th-place finish on tower. Sara Clark (13th on 3M) and Amanda Blong rounded out the group of four athletes who represented UCLA at the NCAA Championships. This was quite a feat for UCLA and put on display the depth and talent of this squad. Great things started happening early last year as the Bruins went 2-3-4 on one meter and 2-3-4-6 on 3M at the Zone meet. Schofield was the NCAA Zone E tower champion, as well as the Pac-10 winner and was the Pac-10 Diver of the Month in December.
During the summer of 2007, the divers were on point again as Schofield won the Senior Zone D platform title and was 15th at U.S. Nationals. Samaniego won the Senior Zone one-meter crown and finished seventh at U.S. nationals.
During the 2007-2008 season, the Bruin divers continued their success as by Marisa Samaniego led the way, advancing to the NCAA Championships on 1M and 3M. She was the NCAA Zone E Champion on three-meter and tallied seven dual meet wins during the year. Tess Schofield won every invitational tower competition she was entered in and the Bruins saw much success and improvement from divers Brittany Hill, Shannon Pirozzi, Laura Winn and Morgan Erpenbeck.
The 2008-2009 campaign was another great year for the dive squad as two student-athletes competed at NCAAs, earning All-America honorable mention honors (Marisa Samaniego/Tess Schofield). Sophomore Laura Winn had a huge year, narrowly missing the Pac-10 title on tower with a runner-up finish. Samaniego won the Pac-10 one-meter crown, was the NCAA Zone E champion on three-meter and tallied seven dual meet wins during the year. Schofield won every invitational platform event in which she entered and was the NCAA Zone E Champion on tower.
The 2009-2010 season saw a small squad of four divers represent the Bruins. Karina Silva and Laura Winn led the way as all four competed at the NCAA Zone E Championships. Silva set a new school record on tower during the prelims at Pac-10s and ended up finishing second overall, while both her and Winn were finalists on tower at the Zone meet. The summer of 2010 saw Silva earn a bronze medal on 1M and a gold medal on platform in her Spanish National Championships, qualifying her to the European Championships. Winn qualified to her second Senior National Championship on tower where she finished 22nd overall and Michelle Vale made her debut at the Senior meet in the 3M synchro and 3M springboard events.
During the 2010-2011 season, Laura Winn led the way as the then senior finished third on tower at the Pac-10 Championships and competed at the NCAA Zone E Championships. Winn also competed at her first Senior National Meet and qualified for the 2012 Olympic Trials on tower. Freshman Paulina Guzman had a solid first year with the Bruins as she also competed at Zones. Guzman also represented Guatemala at the Canada Cup meet in May of 2011.
The 2011-2012 season was keyed by Emma Ivory-Ganja, who was named Pac-12 Conference Newcomer of the Year for diving after a very successful freshman campaign which saw her finish third on both 3M and tower at the conference meet. Ivory-Ganja also set a new meet record on 3M at the Pac-12 Championships and narrowly miss a spot at the NCAA Championships after placing fourth on tower at the Zone E meet. Ivory-Ganja and 2011 graduate Laura Winn also competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials.