TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona Director of Operations for Swimming and Diving Michele Mitchell will be inducted into the World Acrobatics Society Gallery of Legends, the organization announced over the weekend.
The induction ceremony will take place at the World Acrobatics Society Congress on Sept. 15 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Mitchell is one of just two divers that will be honored as Ron Merriott will also be honored. Just last year, Mitchell was named to the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
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.