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Diving Coach

John Ames

John Ames - Swimming & Diving - Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Years at Tech 23rd
Alma Mater Ohio, 1993
John Ames - Swimming & Diving - Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Veteran diving coach John Ames is in his 23rd year at Georgia Tech, having guided Yellow Jacket divers to excel at the national level since August 2001. Under Ames’ tutelage, the Georgia Tech diving record book has been completely rewritten on both the men’s and women’s sides as the top-10 in all three events — 1-meter, 3-meter and platform — have all come during his tenure. Ames has guided 10 Yellow Jackets to the NCAA Championships to compete in 29 events overall, helping Tech divers amass 11 All-America honors. Ames was also able to develop two Yellow Jackets into ACC individual champions, including Tech’s first-ever NCAA qualifier, Evan Stowers, in 2006. Following up on Stowers, in 2008, Tech divers, Stephanie England and Hannah Krimm, accounted for all 21 of the Jackets’ total points at the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships to lead them to a 30th-place finish — the highest in program history until 2021 when Camryn Hidalgo and Anna Bradescu combined to place 28th at the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships.

His 30 years of coaching has featured stops at Western Illinois and George Washington, in addition to working as the associate head coach and head coach of Montgomery Dive Club and Atlanta Diving Association, respectively.

 Birthdate March 11, 1971
 Education Ohio (B.A., psychology)
Western Illinois (M.S., sports administration)
 1993-95 Western IllinoisGraduate Assistant Diving Coach
 1995-2001 Montgomery Dive ClubAssociate Head Coach
 1995-2001 George Washington UniversityDiving Coach
 2001-13 Atlanta Diving AssociationHead Coach
 2001-Present Georgia TechDiving Coach

John Ames, who has become a staple of the Georgia Tech program, enters his 23rd year overall as the diving coach for the Yellow Jackets’ swimming & diving program in 2021. He came to The Flats in August 2001.

Under Ames’ guidance, Tech divers continue to excel at the national level while rewriting the program record books.

Over his time on The Flats, 11 different Yellow Jacket drivers have qualified and competed at the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships in multiple events – Evan Stowers (2006 & 2007), Stephanie England (2008), Hannah Krimm (2008), Brandon Makinson (2011), Shannon Lumbra (2015), Brad Homza (2015 & 2016), Matt Casillas (2018 & 2019), Camryn Hidalgo (2020*, 2021, 2022), Ruben Lechuga (2021, 2023), Anna Bradescu (2021, 2022) and Elijah Klier (2023) – while combined the group has totaled 12 NCAA All-America and honorable mention honors.

The success has extended beyond the pool as the Yellow Jackets have annually been one of the nation’s top academic swimming & diving programs. The men’s swimming & diving team has earned APR Public Recognition Awards from the NCAA in 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16, while both the men’s and women’s programs annually receive CSCAA scholar all-America team honors, with over 27 divers having garnered CSCAA scholar all-America and all-America honorable mention honorees since 2001. Ames’ career highlights include:

  • 14 NCAA Championships participants (35 events)
  • 11 NCAA All-America honors (includes honorable mentions)
  • 18 All-ACC performers
  • Three ACC Champions
  • Multiple school records

Ames’ divers own the Georgia Tech record book on both the women’s and men’s side in all three diving events – 1-meter, 3-meter and platform – with the top-10 in all three events comprised of divers that competed for Tech from 2005 and on under Ames’ tutelage.

Matt Casillas set the new school record in the men’s 3-meter dive in 2017-18 with a score of 424.95, eclipsing Brandon Makinson’s record of 422.55 set back in 2013. Brad Homza set the record in the men’s platform dive with a score of 436.25 in 2016. Ruben Lechuga then rewrote both Casillas’ 3-meter and Makinson’s 1-meter record with a score of 439.58 and 402.60, respectively, in 2022.

On the women’s side, Camryn Hidalgo broke the Tech record in the 1-meter (331.35) event in 2018, the 3-meter (362.10) event in 2018 and the platform (309.20) in 2021, which were previously set back in 2016, 2005 and 2007, respectively.

He has coached Tech’s most decorated divers in Hannah Krimm, Stephanie England, Evan Stowers, Brad Homza and Camryn Hidalgo.

Ames coached Tech’s first female diving all-American as then-sophomore Krimm finished seventh on the 3-meter springboard at the 2008 NCAA Championships. Krimm was also recognized as an honorable mention all-American on the 1-meter board, while England was an honorable mention all-American in both the 3-meter and platform events in 2008. The Tech divers accounted for all 21 of the Jackets’ total points at the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships to lead them to a 30th-place finish.

Ames then coached Tech’s second ACC Champion on the women’s side and first female diving champion in Hidalgo, who took home the gold in the 1-meter. Hidalgo and Bradescu then combined in 2021 to lead Tech in setting a new high mark when they accounted for all 24 of the Yellow Jackets’ total points at the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships to lead Tech to a 28th-place finish. This performance was buoyed by 16 points from Hidalgo’s third place finish on the 3-meter board.

Under Ames’ guidance, Stowers became the first-ever Tech diver to qualify for the NCAA Championships in 2006. At the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Stowers again made history by finishing seventh on the men’s platform, becoming the first Tech diver to garner all-America honors after becoming only the Jackets’ second-ever ACC individual champion in diving. Stowers returned to the NCAA Championships in 2017, earning all-America honors for the second-consecutive season.

Homza, who became Tech’s third ACC Champion in diving in 2016 on the men’s platform event, earned NCAA all-America honors with an 11th-place finish in the 1-meter dive at the 2016 NCAA Championships and a 14th place finish on platform.

Hired in August 2001, Ames came to Tech from George Washington University and the Montgomery Dive Club, one of the largest diving programs in the nation. Prior to his stint with Montgomery and George Washington, Ames served as an assistant coach with the Northern Virginia Dive Club. He also worked as a graduate assistant and diving coach at Western Illinois University.

Ames graduated from Ohio University in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology after completing his collegiate diving career with the Bobcats. He earned a master’s degree in sport administration while at Western Illinois.

*Hidalgo qualified but did not compete due to COVID-19 pandemic

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