Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday

Michele Mitchell-Rocha
Michele Mitchell-Rocha

Head Diving Coach

The most decorated diver in Arizona history is set to begin her sixth year at the helm of the Wildcat diving program. Michele Mitchell-Rocha won silver medals on the 10-meter platform at both the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and the 1988 games in Seoul, Korea. She was inducted into the UA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988 and the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1995. Mitchell-Rocha was a four-time All-America selection during her collegiate career in 1979-83. Her accomplishments include 1986 Sullivan Award Nominee, nine-time U.S. national champion, the 1985 World FINA Cup champion, 1987 Pan American Games champion, four-time U.S. Olympic Committee "Athlete of the Year" honoree and the American record holder for platform diving, 479.40 points for an eight-dive list. "When you think of women's diving you think of Michele Mitchell," said UA swim coach Frank Busch. "She is one of the most recognized figures in the diving world and to have her here at Arizona, as a former Wildcat, is a tremendous boost to our program," he said. Not only a fierce competitor, Mitchell-Rocha has proven herself as a highly successful coach. She spent six years as co-owner and head coach of the Atlantic Diving Team in Boca Raton, Fla., the largest age group team in South Florida. She directed the team with her husband, Jose Rocha, a former NCAA Champion diver at Auburn and Olympian for Mexico at the 1984 Olympics. The team trained at a local private school in 11 feet of water with three old diving boards and no platform. Despite the lack of adequate training facilities her teams managed a sixth place finish at the 1995 Junior Olympic National Championships and a 10th-place finish in 1994. Individually, Mitchell-Rocha's divers have recorded numerous top national finishes, including a 1996 national champion and a second-place finish at the 1995 World Age Group Championships in China. She and her husband were named Florida Gold Coast Coaches of the Year every year from 1992-96. In 2000, Mitchell-Rocha received the Pac-10 Conference Diving Coach of the Year award, the second of her career (1997). She also coached the Pac-10 Diver of the Year and "Newcomer of the Year", then-sophomore Ruben Vaca. The 2001 season brought along another Pac-10 Diver of the Year and "Newcomer of the Year" in senior Omar Ojeda. Ojeda placed second on the three meter with 635.95 points and third on the platform , scoring 562.80. This is the highest finish ever for a male diver at Arizona and ties the highest place ever for a female diver, Mitchell-Rocha. In 2002, third time was the charm for Mitchell-Rocha, as she won her third consecutive Pac-10 Conference Men's Diving Coach of the year. In addition, Mitchell-Rocha coached 2 time Pac-10 Diver of the year Omar Ojeda. Ojeda finished 6th at the 2002 NCAA Championships in both the one meter and three meter diving events by scoring 342.20 points and 614.75 points, respectively. In addition to her coaching, Mitchell-Rocha held positions as the director of marketing for United States Water Polo in 1995 and director of marketing and special events for the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Her responsibilities included recruiting corporate sponsorships, fund-raising events and organizing competitive events. In her years at Arizona, Mitchell-Rocha has worked with Win Young, Cynthia Potter's predecessor, to develop a successful age group team. Today, the team continues under the guidance of Win Young. Mitchell-Rocha has shared her knowledge of the sport through television. She worked as a color commentator for several television stations, including NBC and ESPN. Her television resume includes the 1992 Olympic Trials and Games, the 1994 and '95 NCAA Women's Championships and the 1993 World University Games. During the summer of 1996, she anchored the in-stadium radio broadcasts for diving at the Olympic Games in Atlanta and was the bungee jump analyst for the ESPN X-Games. An avid promotional and motivational speaker, Mitchell-Rocha's past clients include McDonald's, Nabisco, United States Diving, the United States Olympic Committee, as well as many civic and charitable organizations. She also holds positions on several committees and foundations, including the United States Diving Foundation, Inc., the United States Olympic Committee's Athlete Support Committee, and the Women's Sports Foundation Grant Review Committee. Mitchell-Rocha earned her undergraduate degree in English, with a minor in athletic coaching and secondary education, from Arizona in 1983. She received her master's degree in Sports Administration from Arizona in December of 2000 and is currently on her way to earning her Ph. D in educational psychology . She and Jose have two children, 7-year old daughter, Ariana and 4-year old son, Dakota.

Honors: 2001 Pac-10 Men's Diving Coach of the Year 2000 Pac-10 Men's Diving Coach of the Year 1997 Pac-10 Men's Diving Coach of the Year