For Steve Foley, the glass always seems to be half full. With an infectious personality and a quick wit, Foley is already on his way to accomplishing what may not be the obvious goal of his hire, but definitely an important building block – uniting the coaching fraternity of USA Diving.
Sitting in the USA Diving sponsored forum at the United States Aquatic Convention (USAS) in Atlanta, Foley got a good dose of the division that has arisen between the national governing body, and diving coaches from across the country. On task from the start of the convention, he is already using that information to tackle what promises to be the one of the most pressure packed jobs in the diving world - the job of bringing the U.S. back to the forefront of international diving.
Foley was recently hired to replace Dr. Ron O’Brien as USA Diving High Performance Director, and will move from his current position as National Performance Director for British Diving beginning in 2009. His primary responsibility will be the singular pursuit of one goal – to win Olympic medals. To do that he faces the task of uniting the resources available, and one major resource are the coaches that develop the divers that will be our next Olympic team.
A native Australian, Foley is a three-time Olympian (1976, 1980 and 1984), and was the first Australian male diver to reach finals in both springboard and platform at the Games in 1984. He served as head diving coach and Australian national coach at the Australian Institute of Sport from 1989-1995. He was an assistant Olympic Team coach for Australia in 1988, and was head coach for Australia's 1992 Olympic Team.
Since 2002, he has been the High Performance Director for British Swimming, and under his guidance Britain earned its first Olympic diving medal in 44 years with a silver in men's synchronized platform in 2004. He was also responsible for the development of Thomas Daley, a rising star on the international diving scene.
Foley spent time living and training in the U.S. under O’Brien and Steve McFarland. From 1979-1982 Foley trained under O'Brien and from 1983-84, he trained under McFarland while also working as an age group coach at the University of Miami.
I sat down with the new High Performance director following the conclusion of the USAS convention for question and answer session . . . here are the results!