Craig Brown, a two-time Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year, enters his 27th season at the helm of the Nittany Lion diving corps. Brown has consistently produced quality divers that have represented Penn State at the conference and national level.
Since taking over the diving program in 1986, Brown has sent 23 divers to the NCAA Championships on 77 occasions, with at least one in all but six seasons since he began at Penn State. He watched as three divers qualify for the NCAA Championships in 1990, 1995 and 1998 on the men's side and the trio of Maggie O'Brien, Alison Riccobono and Lisa Silvestri all qualified for the women's championships in 2002.
Brown has watched as four of his men's divers and three of his women's divers earned All-America honors on 11 different occasions. Jamie Jaax is the lone female diver to garner first team All- America recognition, bringing home the honor in 1999 with a 13th place showing. Devine garnered first team All-America honors on both boards in 1994 and Bohner was a first team All-American in 2002 with an eighth place showing at the NCAA Championships. He helped Chris Devine to the one-meter Big Ten title in 1994 and first team All-America honors on both the one- and three-meter boards, finishing third and fifth, respectively. He helped Drew Jackson to four consecutive trips to the NCAAs from 1995-98, while Steve Bohner (1999, 2001-02), Chris Alderman (1998, 2000-01) and Chris Devine (1992, 1994-95) all qualified three times for the national summit.
In 2006, he coached Penn State's first men's Big Ten diving champion since Devine in 1994 as Mike Alderman won the one-meter event. Alderman also qualified for the U.S. Open Diving Championships that year. Jaax has claimed the lone Nittany Lion women's Big Ten Crown, winning the event in 1999.
Seven different times during his tenure Brown has produced the only NCAA Championships participants for the Blue and White. On the men's side, his divers made up the only NCAA qualifiers during the 2006, 2005, 2004, 1997, 1995, 1994 and 1995 seasons. Jaax was the Nittany Lions lone participant at the championships on the women's side in 1999 when she was an All-American. Brown has twice been honored as the Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year, winning the award in 1994 and 1999. His 1999 award came on the heels of the programs first ever women's individual diving champion (Jaax) and in 1994 he coached Devine to the individual crown.
Brown headed the men's and women's diving programs at Penn from 1983-85 in his first collegiate coaching post. Prior to his appointment at Penn, Brown coached at Philadelphia area clubs, including the Warrington Swim and Tennis Club (1982-83), Hatboro-Horsham Aquatic Club (1983), Hideaway Swim Club (1980-81), Hatboro Memorial Pool (1976, 78-79) and Hatboro YMCA (1976)
As a diver at Penn State, Brown won the 1981 Eastern Collegiate Championship in the three-meter springboard and claimed the title on the one-meter springboard in 1979. He was the team's Most Valuable Diver during the 1978, 1979 and 1981 seasons.
As a scholastic diver, Brown was the Pennsylvania state champion in 1977 and the Bux-Mont League Champion in 1975 and 1976. He won the YMCA national one-meter championship in 1977 and was the District I titlist in 1976. A two-time Junior Olympic finalist, he also earned All-Bux-Mont honors in soccer and in football as a placekicker.
Brown graduated from Penn State with a degree in Environmental Resource Management and worked from 1982-85 as an inventory control and purchasing manager with the Moreland Corporation in Willow Grove, Pa. He also was an assistant quality control manager and production supervisor with Moreland. Brown has two children, a 14-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter.