Hoosier Diving Legend Mark Lenzi Passes Away
April 9, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Olympic Gold Medalist and former Indiana University diver Mark Lenzi passed away April 9 in Greenville, N.C. He was 43.
Under the direction of legendary coaches Hobie Billingsley and Dr. Jeff Huber, Lenzi won NCAA titles in 1989 and 1990, winning the 1-meter springboard both years. Lenzi was a four-time Big Ten Champion, winning all three disciplines in 1989 (1-meter, 3-meter, platform), and taking the 1-meter title in 1990. He was named NCAA Diver of the Year in 1989 and 1990.
In 1991 and 1992, Lenzi was recognized as the Phillips 66 Diver of the Year. Lenzi represented the U.S. at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, where he won the gold medal on the 3-meter springboard.
After a brief retirement, Lenzi return to the sport in 1995 and qualified for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics on the 3-meter springboard, where he earned a bronze medal.
Lenzi won 18 international competitions in all on the 1- and 3-meter boards. He was the first American to win a gold medal at the Pan American Games on the 1-meter springboard and was the first diver to score over 700 points (762.35) on the three-meter springboard for 11 dives.
He became the first diver to score over 100 points on a single dive (reverse three-and-one-half tuck), which he accomplished twice. Lenzi was also the first American to complete a forward four-and-one-half somersault in competition.
Lenzi spent the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons as men and women's diving coach at East Carolina University. Prior to that Lenzi coached the junior diving team at IU, with divers winning four national age-group titles.
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