YCF Diving Team began as Team Orlando Diving which was established in 1985 by Dennis Golden, Tom Zomberg, Curt McCoy and Lynne McCoy. Champions such as Mark Ruiz, Bryan Gillooly, Lenny Leyland, Matt Bricker, Brittany Viola and many more that have come from this prestigious program. In 1990 USA National Team Coach Jeff Shaeffer took over as Head Coach through 1993. The winning tradition continue when Chinese Olympic Diver Li Kongzheng lead the team from 1993-1996. In 1996 the team was turned over to current Texas A&M University coach Jay Lerew who coached USA Olympian Mark Ruiz who has taken over as head coach for this nationally renowned diving team.
Mark Ruiz grew up in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico where he began diving at the age of 9. After proving to be a phenomenon at the age of 12, Mark and his family moved to Orlando to persue his dream of Olympic diving. He chose Team Orlando Diving due to its International reputation as an elite diving team. By the age of 15, Mark became the youngest diver, behind Greg Louganis, to finish second at a US Senior Nationals. Following this breakthrough, Mark went on to win 9 Junior National Championship titles and won the 1994 Sullivan Award, the most prestigious award given to an amateur athlete. At the 1999 US Nationals he swept all three events, 10M Platform, 3M Springboard and 1M Springboard, becoming the first diver since Greg Louganis to accomplish this feat. He became the most decorated diver in US history. Then, Mark won the 1999 Pan Ams Games gold medal, and made the 2000 and 2004 US Olympic Teams. American divers to make the US Olympic Team on both 3M and Platform. Ruiz finished 6th and 7th at the 2000 Olympic Games and 7th on Platform at the 2004 Olympics. He was named 1999 & 2000 US Olympic Committee Male Diver of the Year and 2 time US Diver of the Year. Mark was a 22 Time US National Champion. He remains among the top 5 most accomplished medal winning divers in American history.
Mark Ruiz attended Dr. Phillips High School where he won 4 class 6a High School State Championships, and held the National High School Record for over 10 years. Mark trained with Jay Lerew at Team Orlando Diving. In 2003 Mark’s passion for the sport of diving led him to began his own Mark Ruiz Diving Camps and Clinics available to divers all over the country. Mark’s world class knowledge, experience and enthusiasm have made his camp one of the most desired diving camps in the US.
Throughout the years Team Orlando Diving has been one of the most recognized and most renowned diving programs in the nation. We have produced many High School State Champions, Junior & Senior National Champions, Collegiate full Scholarship recipients and Olympians. Team Orlando Diving has won 6 Junior National Team Titles 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003 and has won every East National Championship since the meet inaugural event in 1998.
On August 30, 2010 Team Orlando Diving affiliated with the YMCA of Central Florida (YCF) and YCF Diving was established. Joining the YMCA has allowed our diving program to have more resources and have a larger impact in the Central Florida area. This opportunity will allow us to become bigger and stronger than ever. Please come see us anytime at the YMCA Aquatic Center. We are very proud of our team as I’m sure will find it impressive and fun to be a part of.