Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Mitchell to be inducted in Arizona Sports Hall of Fame
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 18, 2013
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 18, 2013

TUCSON, Ariz. Two-time Olympic silver medalist and former University of Arizona diving coach Dr. Michele Mitchell has been named to the 2013 class to the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission (PRSC) recently announced.

In her current role of director of operations for the U of A swimming/diving program, Mitchell oversees a majority of the logistics pertaining to the swimming and diving team. Prior to that, she served as the team's diving coach for 15 seasons. In her time as the head diving coach at the University of Arizona, Mitchell has trained some of the best divers in the world. Mitchell's divers have accumulated 27 All-American honors, 11 Pac-10 titles, numerous CoSIDA Academic All-American honors and, in 2008, both Men's and Women's NCAA National Championship titles. Additionally, the Cats have put up 17 and 13 top-16 finishes on the men's and women's teams, respectively. During her tenure, she was named Pac-10 Men's Diving Coach of the Year on four different occasions. Her former diver, Ben Grado, was the first Arizona Diver to ever win an NCAA title in 2012.

A two-time Olympic silver medalist, Mitchell won medals on the 10-meter platform at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, and the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. A Wildcat alumna, Mitchell herself was a member of the University of Arizona Dive Team. During her collegiate career 1979 to 1983, she was a four-time All-American and nine-time U.S. national champion. Mitchell was also a 1985 World FINA Cup champion, finalist for the 1986 Sullivan Award, 1987 Pan American Games champion and a four-time U.S. Olympic Committee Athlete of the Year honoree. Mitchell holds the American Record for platform diving with 479.40 points for an eight-dive list. She was inducted into the University of Arizona Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988 and the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1995.

Mitchell received the prestigious Phil Boggs award from United States Aquatic Sports in September 2009. The award honors those who have achieved individual excellence in diving and have given back a part of themselves to assure the sport's continuation and success.

Mitchell has held notable roles in the collegiate and international diving communities: Chair on both the USA Diving Committee for Competitive Excellence and the NCAA Swimming and Diving Rules Committee. She is also an active member of the Women's Sports Foundation Grant Review Committee, the University of Arizona Hall of Fame Committee and the Equity and Student-Athlete Welfare Committee. Formerly, Mitchell was a member of the United States Diving Foundation and the USOC Athlete Support Committee.

In addition to her committee work, Mitchell acts as an avid promotional and motivational speaker in both the world and local communities. Her past clients include United States Diving, the U.S. Olympic Committee, McDonald's, Nabisco, as well as many civic and charitable organizations.

She was a commentator for the 1992 Olympic Trials and Olympic Games, the 1993 World University Games, the 1994 and 1995 NCAA Women's Championships, and anchored the in-stadium radio broadcasts for diving in the 1996 Olympic Games. In 1996, she served as a bungee-jump analyst for the ESPN X-Games.

Mitchell earned her undergraduate degree in English and a minor in Athletic Coaching and Secondary Education from the University of Arizona in 1983. She received her Master's degree in Sports Administration from Arizona in December of 2000 and her Doctorate in Education Psychology in May of 2007.

Along with Mitchell, professional golfer Heather Farr, NBA All-Star Lafayette “Fat” Lever and Phoenix Suns founding investor and business entrepreneur Karl Eller will also be elected to the 2013 hall of fame class. The Arizona Sports Hall of Fame honors athletes, coaches, administrators and others who have made significant contributions to Arizona sports. 

This year’s class will be recognized during the 43rd Arizona Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Thursday, May 9 at Scottsdale Center for the Arts. The induction ceremony will be preceded by an auction and cocktail reception. For more information on the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, or to purchase tickets to the induction ceremony, please visit

The Phoenix Regional Sports Commission assumed custodianship of the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. A 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission was created in 1988. The mission of the Sports Commission is to “Enrich Our Community Through Sports" by representing the citizens of the Valley to bring national and international sporting events to the state, assist in the promotion of existing events and teams, and support youth sports programs. To learn more about the Sports Commission, please visit

For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat swimming and diving, visit and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaSwimming.

Margo Geer P12 WOTY