Patriot League Male Diving Coach of the Year trophy to be named in honor of Navy’s Joe Suriano
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Patriot League announced its annual Male Diving Coach of the Year award will be named after former Navy coach Joe Suriano beginning in the 2022-23 season. Suriano’s legendary coaching career spanned 35 seasons at Annapolis until the 2012-13 campaign.
The four-time Patriot League Coach of the Year has guided 14 Mids to League Diver of the Year honors, in addition to seeing 12 of his student-athletes qualify for 22 NCAA Division I championships and claim 15 All America honors.
“Joe Suriano has had tremendous success at the US Naval Academy and in the Patriot League in a historic career,” said Patriot League Commissioner Jennifer Heppel. “To recognize him is a well-deserved honor for someone who was not only incredibly accomplished, but also a great ambassador for the Navy, the League and the collegiate swimming and diving community. We hope that naming the Male Diving Coach of the Year award in his honor brings back fond memories for his family, his student-athletes and all those he touched.
Suriano is the sixth Patriot League coach to have an award named after him. He joins Bucknell’s Gene Depew (Baseball Coach of the Year), Colgate’s Dick Biddle (Football Coach of the Year) and Joe Abrahamson (Men’s Tennis Championship MVP), Fordham’s John “Pat” Rooney (MVP of the Women’s Tennis Championship) and Bill Lawson of Lafayette (Men’s Lacrosse Coach of the Year).
Throughout his decorated career, his divers totaled 27 Patriot League titles, 17 Eastern Swimming League titles, and eight individual Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) titles. In 2007 and 2008, his divers swept all four boards to the Patriot League Championship.
Nationally and internationally, Suriano was appointed as an International Olympic Committee Diving Expert in 1985 and led a 21-day clinic for 30 diving coaches in New Delhi, India. In 1994, he was named official and assistant diving coach for American diving at the International Diving Championships Canada. He was an official in 1995 at the World University Games in Fukuoka, Japan, and at the World Army Games in Rome, Italy later that year. He also coached diving at two United States National Diving Training Camps and was named to the United States National Diving Coaching Staff in 1995-96. Suriano led the U.S. diving team at the 1999 Military World Games in Zagreb, Croatia, then completed a term as chairman of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Rules Subcommittee in the fall of 2001.
Suriano came to the Navy in the summer of 1978 after previous stints as head coach at Eastern Michigan (1971-72) and Vanderbilt (1972-78). He received a bachelor’s degree from Michigan in 1970 and a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan in 1978. He died in 2020.
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